Sunday 17 October 2021

Brussels asks the Netherlands to take 2,047 refugees to ease pressure on south

European Union flags fly in front of the European Commission headquarters in BrusselsThe European Commission has asked the Netherlands to accept 2,047 refugees from Syria and Eritrea to help relieve the pressure on Mediterranean countries which are coping with a surge of asylum seekers.

The relocation effort is focusing on people from Eritrea and Syria because they are most likely to be entitled to refugee status because of the situation in their home countries, broadcaster Nos reports.

The commission has drawn up a plan to divide 40,000 refugees between the member states, although Britain, Ireland and Denmark have said they will not take part.

Brussels has set aside a budget of €6,000 per refugee. European commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos described the proposal as fair and balanced and stressed that the scheme is not open to economic migrants.

The commission also wants the Netherlands to take a further 732 people who are in camps in Syria and its surrounding countries and who need proper care.

European ministers will discuss the plans at their summit at the end of June. The Netherlands has already said it has many questions about the proposals.

More on the EU plans

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