Deadline to Reach Deal on Resettlement of 40 000 Refugees from Italy, Greece Expires

Bulgaria in EU | July 20, 2015, Monday // 10:22|  views

Syrian refugees take a boat to reach Greek Island Lesvos at Green Harbour Beach near Behramkale, coastal district of Ayvacik, Canakkale, Turkey, 17 July 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The deadline to reach a deal on the resettlement of 40 000 refugees from Italy and Greece expires on July 20.

The European Commission proposed in May to relocate 60 000 refugees over the next two years, with 40 000 of them to be sent from Italy and Greece to other EU countries and the remaining 20 000 to be resettled directly from their countries of origin or transit.

The scheme is voluntary.

EU foreign ministers are to announce the number of refugees their countries are willing to receive at a meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Bulgaria has sought an exemption from the scheme.

The scheme envisages the resettlement of 40 000 Syrian and Eritrean refugees, with host countries to receive a lump sum of EUR 6000 per relocated person.

Some countries have announced their quotas, such as Germany, France, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Germany and France are to jointly take in more than 20 000 refugees in the next two years, while Poland is to receive 2000, and the Czech Republic 1500, according to reports of Reuters.

Britain and Denmark will not participate in the relocation plan for these 40 000 people, but they will take part in the relocation plan for 20 000 asylum seekers to be resettled directly from their countries of origin or transit.

Hungary and Bulgaria have also called for a special statute, citing the migratory pressure at the Serbian and Turkish borders, but they have not been officially granted an exemption, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio.

Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova is expected to state Bulgaria’s refusal to participate in the scheme altogether or to propose a minimum number of refugees.

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Tags: refugees, resettlement, EU foreign ministers, refugee status, Rumyana Bachvarova, Bulgarian Interior Ministry, Interior Minister


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