September 19, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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EU interior ministers committed to preventing mass migration from Afghanistan

The European Union said it preferred to work with countries around Afghanistan to strengthen their ability to provide protection and decent conditions for refugees.

At the moment, the EU does not wish to make any specific commitments regarding the entry of people from Afghanistan. Therefore, Afghans in need of protection should only be resettled if EU countries voluntarily offer them their jobs. This follows the results of the extraordinary meeting of the Council of the European Union composed of interior ministers on Tuesday. The report was submitted by the Department of Political Affairs.

“Incentives for illegal immigration must be avoided,” said a joint statement adopted at an extraordinary meeting in Brussels.

The European Union said it preferred to work with countries around Afghanistan to strengthen their ability to provide protection and decent conditions for refugees. At the same time, Brussels is preparing to protect strict borders.

“In light of the experience gained, the European Union is committed to working together to prevent a recurrence of the large-scale and uncontrolled migration flows that we have encountered in the past,” the joint statement said.

Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn initially called on the European Union to make stronger commitments on resettling Afghans fleeing the Islamist extremist Taliban movement, which has taken control of Afghanistan. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, for example, strongly objected to this.

“Mr. Asselborn should take a closer look at the problems the big countries in the European Union are facing,” Seehofer said. “We’re not talking about a few hundred (Afghans) here, but thousands.”

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Finally, EU ministers agreed that resettlement can only take place on a voluntary basis, with priority given to vulnerable people such as women and children. Asselborn also backed down after the European Commission promised a forum on refugee resettlement in September, where EU countries could announce specific numbers of people they would like to accept.