Just 900 from the 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy were resettled in other Member States

Just 900 from the 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy were resettled in other Member States

Athens, March 17, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The Commission demands from member-states for “urgent decisive action” to accelerate the pace of resettlement process.

The Commission in its report records the unsatisfactory implementation of the migration mechanism of the EU member-states.

It is stated that “the transport rate is not satisfactory as only 937 asylum seekers have been migrated from Greece and Italy up to March 15”.

However, it is noted that the acceleration of the process is possible, but depends on the “political will”, which so far is the “most important factor slowing the process”. According to the report, during the first weeks of March, 287 people were resettled rapidly (including 241 from Greece), which indicates that the relocation can be done faster if the member-states really commit.

The Commission requires member-states’ urgent decisive action “to accelerate the pace of relocation, while says that at present, the total number of persons to be relocated surpasses the commitments undertaken by member-states.

Therefore, according to the Commission, should be made at least about 5,600 relocations per month, which implies a relocation process of a maximum duration of two weeks. Based on this assessment, the Commission shall have completed at least 6,000 relocation until the next monthly report. Due to the emergency situation in the region, it asks to accelerate the pace, so that by the third monthly report in May at least 20,000 relocations will have been completed.

“The humanitarian situation in Greece becomes daily more and more serious, the member-states should urgently honor their commitments to prevent further deterioration of the situation of refugees in Greece”, said Immigration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, noting that “the relocations must increase significantly in coming days and weeks”, and calling on member states “to open alternative safe and legal routes to Europe for persons in need of international protection”. “Member-states must show solidarity to third countries affected by the refugee crisis, contributing to the increased efforts of the EU to resettlement”, he said.

With regard to the refugee resettlement figure in European member-states from third countries, the Commission’s report states that based on the information received from the member of the EU and Associated States of the Dublin system, 4,555 displaced people in need of protection resettled until March 15 in 11 countries.

Most of the participating countries have resettled Syrian who were in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Beyond this framework, some countries also apply separately resettlement programs because of previous international commitments.

The main problems identified in the Commission’s report relate to the differences in the selection criteria, the duration of proceedings in mid integration or the number of available seats between member-states. Problems also create the lack of reception capacity and the delays caused by the exit licenses to third countries.

The Committee requests to intensify the exchange of best practices and experience between resettlement countries, particularly for the benefit of the countries which for the first time participate in the resettlement and invites member-states to continue work on the voluntary humanitarian admission program of Syrians refugees together with Turkey, which was proposed by the Commission on December 15, 2015.