Although Europe has imposed a much stricter refugee policy in recent months, the European Commission revealed new plans this week to resettle more refugees than ever before.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, in 2010, out of 10 million refugees around the world, 203,000 need permanent settlement. However, only 6.7 percent of those were accept by EU member states, a total of just over 4,000. The United States, by contrast, took in over 60,000 refugees.
Further, only 10 of the 27 EU member states regularly accept refugees — I’m guessing that Estonia isn’t high on the list. Further, Time magazine reports: The rates for granting refugee status also differ widely across Europe: Sweden has given asylum to 80% of Iraqi refugees who have applied, while the U.K. and Germany have each only accepted about 10% of applicants from Iraq. Greece has stopped taking Iraqi asylum applications altogether.
If this plan goes forward, EU countries that do accept refugees would receive $5,700 per refugee from the newly created European Refugee Fund and would receive administrative support form the new European Asylum Support Office. Further, the EU plans on working with transit countries on Europe’s borders, like Libya and Turkey, so that those who do seek asylum can receive advice before they undertake any such journey.
On a personal note, this hopeful news concludes my part of the 80+1 Festival! We hope that you’ve enjoyed our English-language blogging coverage. Our German blog will continue throughout the month. I’m in Linz this weekend for the Ars Electronica Festival. Come say hi!