Friday, September 24

The EU prioritizes the settlement of Afghan refugees in neighboring countries


Correspondent in Brussels

Updated:

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The European Union It wants Afghanistan’s neighboring countries to take charge of those fleeing this country after the return to power of the Taliban and the expulsion of Western forces. The European Ministers of the Interior held this Tuesday a extraordinary advice in which several countries had been open to organizing specific reception policies, but the set of governments agreed that all resettlement of refugees within the EU will be voluntary, while the Commission will be in charge of reaching agreements, including financial, with the countries in the area to take charge of the Afghans. The establishment outside the European territory of offices of the European Agency for Asylum (EASO) is also encouraged so that candidates to come to the EU can process the necessary documents there before trying to enter.

The priority issue at the moment, according to the Commissioner for the Interior, Ylva JohanssonAt the end of the meeting, it is that all countries agree that “the best way to avoid a migratory crisis is to prevent a humanitarian crisis from occurring” for which a channel of aid to humanitarian organizations and NGOs is maintained. who are still inside the country, although he also admitted that “if the Taliban behave with the pattern we know, it is certain that we will have humanitarian consequences for the Afghan population.”

Since there is still no decision on whether or not the Europeans will recognize the Taliban regime as an immediate priority, as explained by the Commissioner, the Commission will act indirectly and continue in close coordination with international partners, especially the UN and its agencies, to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in need in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. It will also offer financial assistance to those countries, as stated in the final declaration, “to strengthen their capacity to provide protection, dignified and safe reception conditions and sustainable livelihoods for refugees and host communities. The EU will also cooperate with these countries to prevent illegal migration from the region, strengthen border management capacities and prevent smuggling of immigrants and trafficking in human beings. ‘

In general, the commissioner insisted that international and European law recognize that people fleeing their country due to the return of the Taliban to power “may have the right to claim international protection, but that does not mean that we have to grant it. us ”within the European territory.

The final document approved by the Twenty-seven states that Europeans will take into account ‘the lessons learned’ in the previous migration crisis of 2015 and are ‘determined to act together to prevent the repetition of large-scale illegal and uncontrolled migration movements, by preparing a response coordinated and orderly. Incentives for illegal emigration should be avoided. The EU should also strengthen support to neighboring countries close to Afghanistan to ensure that those in need receive adequate protection mainly in the same region. ‘

Johansson did not want to define how the agreements will be that in this case they will not be a copy of the one agreed with Turkey to retain Syrian migrants fleeing the war in its territory, but “tailor-made formulas” will be sought for each case. For now, the main neighbors of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, do not seem very open to accepting this type of agreement that implies opening the door to Afghan refugees.

Information campaigns

The ministers also propose the launch of “specific information campaigns to combat the narratives used by human traffickers that encourage them to embark on dangerous and illegal trips to Europe”, through indirect routes, such as the one he is encouraging in these moments the Belarusian dictatorship and that is causing a crisis in Poland and the Baltic countries.

The Commission has again made an appeal to the countries to take advantage of the situation and speed up the drafting of a new pact to reform European legislation on immigration and asylum.

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