Wednesday, 19 May 2010

EU To Trade In Third-Country Refugees

In response to growing pressure from the UNHCR for the EU to adopt a common resettlement policy and to significantly increase the number of refugees accepted into EU countries, the European Parliament has amended a draft EU law to pay up to €6,000 to member states for each third-country refugee that they accept. Fortress Europe currently only accepts 6.7% of refugees resettled worldwide, much fewer than countries like the USA, Canada and Australia.

The deal is structured so that the funding will amount to €6,000 per person for the first year for member states applying for the first time, €5,000 in the second year and €4,000 thereafter. The 'premium' paid for the first two years additional to newly participating member states must be invested in developing the country's resettlement programme.

In addition, the parliament approved the creation of a European Asylum Support Office, based on a report produced by Green MEP Jean Lambert, co-ordinate co-operation and information exchange between EU states, and to be sited in Malta.

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