Migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has called on European Union member states to take migrants directly from countries in Africa, citing current talks with Rwanda.
Avramopoulos said he would like to see members of the EU bring far more “vulnerable” migrants directly from refugee camps in various African countries saying: “I call on all Member States to step up their resettlement efforts and implement their commitments to receive refugees as soon as possible.”
The EU Commissioner specifically mentioned Libya, a country with an estimated 500,000 or more migrants, saying in comments reported by Die Welt: “It is necessary to carry out more emergency evacuations from Libya.”
The call echoes that of migrant transport NGO captain Carola Rackete who demanded that the EU take in at least 500,000 migrants from Libya. NGO Doctors Without Borders has also made similar demands to Germany but cited a much smaller number of migrants.
EU Plots ‘Proactive Approach’ for Boosting Legal Migration to Europe https://t.co/17YV4TlscH
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Avramopoulos said that so far, around 35,000 migrants have come to Europe from Africa as part of the EU resettlement programme in the last two years, but added: “We must not become complacent. Relocations should become the most important way to join the European Union for those in need of protection.”
“We must make resettling a priority if we want to support partner countries that have taken in refugees. However, this is also important in order to provide refugees who want to travel to Europe in safe ways so that they no longer have to resort to dangerous and illegal sea and land routes,” he added.
Not everyone in the EU agrees that the political bloc should open up to further migration. Over the weekend, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó stated: “The safety of the people of Europe is paramount, migration must be kept outside Europe.”
Hungary: 'Illegal Migration Is a Threat to European Culture and Civilization' https://t.co/UBXh6i6q1o
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His comments came in reaction to the mass stabbing attack over the weekend in the French city of Lyon by an Afghan asylum seeker that left one person dead and another nine wounded.
“It cannot be part of the European way of life to be afraid of our lives at a bus stop, a street fair, or a concert because there are people who live here in Europe but want to destroy us,” Szijjártó said.