Monday

22nd Jan 2018

EU countries offered €6,000 per head to take in refugees

  • Syrian woman crossing the border with one-month old son on 1 May (Photo: UNHCR)

The European Commission is proposing to pay EU countries €6,000 for each UN-registered refugee which they agree to resettle.

The idea, announced by the European Commission on Wednesday (4 December), is part of a package designed to stop people dying on sea crossings and being exploited by human traffickers.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

It is aimed at the Syria crisis. Over 2 million Syrians are registered refugees, many of them living in overcrowded camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The EU resettled 5,000 of them last year.

It also gave some form of asylum to 90 percent of the 20,000 or so Syrians who made their own way to Europe.

By comparison, the US resettled 50,000.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told press: "This is the single most efficient short-term measures that member states can do to help and to avoid for these very vulnerable people to take the dangerous route over the Mediterranean."

Other measures announced Wednesday include giving the EU's joint police agency, Europol, an extra €400,000 a year to target people smugglers.

The commission is to give €30 million to Italy and €20 million to other member states to improve conditions for asylum seekers.

It also says its border control agency, Frontex, needs an additional €14 million to co-ordinate sea patrols.

Frontex told this website the money would be used to expand existing operations in Greece and Italy only.

Disembarkation dispute

There are plenty of thorny questions - for instance, who takes in migrants which are rescued by Frontex? - in EU migration talks.

The commission in April put out guidelines that say whichever EU country is hosting the Frontex operation involved should take them in.

But Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain say migrants should be taken to the nearest port.

A Maltese official told EUobserver the EU guidelines "make no sense." He noted that if a Malta-hosted Frontex boat rescued someone next to Lampedusa, an Italian island, it would take them two days to reach Malta instead of dropping them off at an Italian port.

Frontex said its boats only do patrols in their host country's maritime zone.

Humanitarian visas

Another thorny question is "humanitarian visas."

EU countries generally decline to grant asylum to people who apply at their foreign consulates, a practice which leads some of them to make their own way to the EU border to file claims.

But the commission is exploring the idea of granting humanitarian visas to let people in need enter the EU legally and safely.

A commission official said member states fear creating a "pull factor," however. Malmstrom noted "there is very little enthusiasm" for the scheme.

The broad EU effort is designed to prevent disasters such as Lampedusa in October, when more than 350 people drowned.

“After Lampedusa, there were very strong words in the European Union. Still, it happened. And it is likely to happen again,” Malmstrom warned.

Opinion

Smarter policies needed to end migrant deaths

Why do migrants risk their lives and the lives of their families when the best that awaits them is a frosty welcome? The answer is simple: desperation.

News in Brief

  1. Austria plans to sue Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant
  2. Puigdemont proposed as sole candidate for Catalan leadership
  3. Abbas in Brussels to discuss Palestinian state recognition
  4. Exiled Catalan leader leaves Belgium for first time
  5. CSU politicians set to oppose concessions to SPD
  6. Greek mass protests against use of 'Macedonia' in name dispute
  7. Oxfam report reveals inequality as Davos elite gather
  8. Macron: France would probably have voted to quit EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. How Oettinger's CO2 permit sale could fill Brexit blackhole
  2. New Polish foreign minister tries to charm EU commission
  3. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on agenda This WEEK
  4. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  5. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  6. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  7. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  8. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names