The Slovenia Times

EU Proposes Slovenia Take In 495 Refugees from Greece and Italy


It proposes that Slovenia takes in 495 refugees - 297 from Italy and 198 from Greece.

Under the Commission's European Agenda on Migration, presented on 13 May, Slovenia was to take in 1.15% of persons who need international protection and are already in the EU, and another 1.03% of refugees located in third countries.

The proposal presented today envisages that the country accepts 1.24% of refugees from Italy and Greece. The share has risen after Italy and Greece were excluded from the calculations.

The figure is much higher than what Slovenia initially indicated it was willing to accept. A month ago Prime Minister Miro Cerar indicated Slovenia could accept "15 to 20 refugees". He subsequently suggested the country's "capabilities and security needed to be taken into consideration."

Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said today that it was right for Slovenia to accept a certain number of refugees but said he could not comment on the specific figure, which is in the domain of the Interior Ministry.

"Whether [the number of refugees Slovenia accepts] is the number proposed by Brussels is hard to say at this point," Erjavec said on the margins of a visit to Primorsko.

The Interior Ministry told the STA it would examine the proposal and draw up a position "considering Slovenia's capabilities and the preservation of the country's internal security."

Member states will receive EUR 6,000 per refugee from the EU's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, with the two-year scheme aimed at helping Italy and Greece assigned EUR 240m from the EU budget.

This is the first time that the Commission has resorted to article 78 of the EU Treaty, which allows for temporary measures to be introduced in case of a sudden major increase in the number of refugees from third countries to help the most affected member states.

The measure will be used to relocate 40,000 Syrians and Eritreans, 24,000 from Italy and 16,000 from Greece, who have arrived in recent months. This is about 40% of all refugees who entered the two countries in 2014.

On top of the extraordinary measure to help Greece and Italy, the Commission is also proposing that EU members accept 20,000 refugees who are currently outside of the European Union.

The quotas for member states from this group remain unchanged - with Slovenia expected to take in 1.03% or 207 persons.

The Commission is pushing for both schemes to be made mandatory for member states, with member states expected to vote on assistance for Greece and Italy with a qualified majority. The decision on the scheme for accepting refugees outside of the EU will have to be endorsed unanimously.EU


More from Nekategorizirano