Denmark will have to adopt refugee quotas if it wants to continue receiving EU funds, says Swedish MEP – The Post

Denmark will have to adopt refugee quotas if it wants to continue receiving EU funds, says Swedish MEP

Claim follows European Commission announcement that over 98,000 refugees need to be resettled from Greece and Italy by September

Thousands of refugees in Greece and Italy are in need of resettlement (phone: iStock)
March 8th, 2017 1:22 pm| by Lucie Rychla
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All EU countries must take responsibility for the redistribution of refugees streaming into Europe or they will lose EU funding, stated Cecilia Wikström, the European Parliament’s rapporteur, on Swedish Radio yesterday.

The Swedish MEP aims to create a permanent and mandatory policy that would force member states to comply with EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes if they wish to avoid getting fines and keep receiving EU funds.

“For every other policy area in the EU – be it chemicals, or nature, or the environment, or banking unions or the financial stability pact … whatever – we have legislation put in place and the member states have to comply with it,” Wikström said.

“Why should we have a whole policy area, namely asylum, that should be optional?”

READ MORE: Asylum-seeker numbers still low in Denmark

Last week, the European Commission (EC) announced a new action plan on how to help Greece and Italy with the current refugee crisis.

According to the EC, there is a need to resettle 98,255 refugees by September 2017 and beyond.

So far, only Malta and Finland are on track to meet their obligations, while France has resettled the largest number of asylum-seekers (2,758), followed by Germany (2,626) and the Netherlands (1,486).

Denmark is currently not bound by the so-called Dublin Regulation thanks to an opt-out agreement under the area of freedom, security and justice that was extended in 2006.

Thanks to this exception, more refugees were rejected than granted asylum in Denmark, according to TV2.

In 2016, municipalities had to find accommodation for only 7,500 refugees instead of the projected 17,000. 

The sharp decline in the number of refugees arriving to Denmark was caused by, among other things, border controls imposed at the beginning of the year.