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EU to help Sweden relocate refugees: proposal

Published måndag 30 november 2015 kl 18.40
"No country should have to do this alone. The European Commission stands by Sweden"
(0:50 min)
EU Commissioner Dimitri Amvramopoulos at a press conference in Stockholm Monday. Photo:TT
EU Commissioner Dimitris Amvramopoulos at a press conference in Stockholm Monday. Photo:TT

Some of the refugees that have come to Sweden may soon be relocated to other member states within the European Union, according to the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who visited Sweden Monday.

It's still unclear how many refugees could get relocated or how it would work in practice, but Dimitris Avramopoulos promised that more details will follow when the Commission puts forward the proposal to the other member states later this week. In addition to having refugees relocated from Sweden, Avramopoulos also said that Sweden should not have to be part of the European Resettlement Programme, which aims to relocate refugees from hot spots like Greece and Italy. These proposals, however, still need to be approved by the other member states of the European Union to come into effect.

Sweden was also promised approximately SEK 90 million from the EU's Refugee Fund to help pay for the growing costs of asylum processing and for maintaining temporary border controls.

Dimitris Avramopoulos began the press conference Monday by commending Sweden for taking in the highest number of refugees per capita in the EU.

"Sweden has been a true example of European solidarity and of taking responsibility, but no country can handle this alone, and it should not. That is exactly why I am here in Stockholm today, to emphasize that the European Commission stands by Sweden and that we are ready to help," Avramopoulus said.

Commenting on criticism about the current resettlement programme, Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the Commission will intensify its efforts to make sure that other member states take in more refugees, but added that their job is mainly to inspire, not to penalise.

So far, only 159 out of the agreed 160,000 refugees have been relocated from Greece and Italy under the European Resettlement Programme.

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