Brussels says Dutch war zone refugee plan is ‘unrealistic’

European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in BrusselsThe European Commission has given a frosty reaction to the Dutch government’s proposals for coping with refugees from war zones, the Financieele Dagblad says on Thursday.

Ministers want  Europe to develop a long-term policy in which only refugees who have first registered in areas close to war zones would be considered for settlement in an EU country.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff said earlier this week he will argue for such an approach at the European Council meeting in Brussels next Monday.

However, the commission’s high representative for foreign policy and security, Federica Mogherini, told the FD the precarious situation around the conflict areas makes this an unrealistic aim.

‘Every attempt to deal with this outside our borders is not going to work,’ she said. ‘I would not consider asking Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey to do this. They already take¬† in far more refugees than we do. We would then risk destabilising more countries and that is not in their interests or ours.’

The Netherlands has agreed to take 9,215 refugees under the commission’s plan to spread them more equitably throughout Europe.

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