Bulgaria’s Refugee Agency Head Vows Quicker Decisions for Asylum Seekers

Domestic | May 12, 2015, Tuesday // 10:53|  views

Nikola Kazakov, Chair of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees, photo by BGNES

Nikola Kazakov, Chair of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Refugees, visited Germany to study the country’s experience in coping with the asylum surge.

In a Tuesday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Kazakov said that Germany expected around 450 000 refugees in 2015.

Kazakov made clear that Germany planned to increase the number of migration officers to cope with the influx of refugees.

Kazakov reminded of the proposal of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for the introduction of migration quotas in a bid to ensure even distribution of asylum seekers.

He noted that the quotas would depend on the GDP of the countries and on other economic parameters.

Kazakov informed that the State Agency for Refugees had a staff of 300 people, adding that attempts were being made to secure the appointment of 100 additional migration officers for one year.

He explained that the measure would use funding under the EC’s plan listing urgent measures in the sphere.

Kazakov declared that the funding would be spent on improving the accommodation conditions at refugee centers, on the asylum procedure, on healthcare and on translation services.

He explained that refugee centers accommodated around 1000 people who had been granted refugee or humanitarian status in 2014 but were staying at the facilities due to a funding shortage.

Kazakov vowed that these people will be taken out of the refugee centers, adding that funding had been provided to secure their accommodation at external addresses for one year.

He also said that refugee centers accommodated slightly over 4000 people and were 80% full and could house 1000 people more.

Kazakov promised that the asylum procedure would be fast-tracked.

He insisted that the much-criticized barbed wire fence along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey played an important role in controlling the migration flows because it prevented illegal entries and directed migrants to the border crossing points.

Kazakov underscored that Bulgaria backed a fair distribution of the refugees and fair sharing of responsibility among all Member States.

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Tags: State Agency for Refugees, asylum seekers, refugee influx, refugee center, migratory pressure, Jean-Claude Juncker


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