Bulgaria Drafts New Plan for Integration of Refugees, Deputy PM Kuneva Says
Bulgarian authorities have drafted a new plan for the integration of refugees that calls for providing them with access to the country’s labour market, Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva said on Thursday.
Providing Bulgarian language teaching services to refugees as well as acknowledgement of their education degrees and working skills certificates are also parts of the plan, Kuneva said at a conference on the integration of refugees held in Sofia.
Giving refugees the right to rent housing from private property owners and search for jobs at the offices of the government’s Employment Agency are among the measures in the draft. Under the plan, the legal refugees will also be required to pay health insurance contributions.
Kuneva, however, stopped short of announcing what the cost of the proposed measures might be.
“The issue of financing is making us cautious and refrain from unveiling it [the plan] at the moment,” she said.
Refugee centres in Bulgaria currently provide shelter to 3,800 migrants, including 700 who had been granted a refugee status, the head of the State Agency for Refugees Nikola Kazakov said at the event.
According to Kazakov, local governments in Bulgaria will have to bear around 60% of the responsibilities relating to the integration of refugees under the plan.
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