Ministers from across the European Union (EU) have presented a plan to support countries neighbouring Afghanistan to host those fleeing the Taliban, in order to stop a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis.
The EU ministers released a statement that pledged the EU and its member states would “stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence of uncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past, by preparing a coordinated and orderly response. Incentives to illegal migration should be avoided.”
“Targeted information campaigns should be launched to combat the narratives used by smugglers, including in the online environment, which encourage people to embark on dangerous and illegal journeys towards Europe,” the statement adds.
The meeting comes as the European Union is looking to avoid a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis, as countries such as Greece have explicitly stated they do not want to see a large number of Afghan asylum seekers using their country as a gateway to Western Europe.
Wall-Building Greek Govt Reiterates Country Will Not Be Gateway for Mass Migration https://t.co/lbSs3kis75
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2021
So far, the European Union has not explicitly said how much cash will be offered to Afghanistan’s neighbours to house asylum seekers and refugees, although Politico reports the figure could be as high as €1 billion (£859 million/$1.18 billion).
Terrorism is also a major concern, and the EU statement claims that efforts will be used to monitor developments regarding both terrorism and organised criminal activity. The European police agency Europol will also provide intelligence and analysis on the situation.
During the meeting, Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaskahas called on the EU to finally agree to a common asylum seeker policy and reexamine the European Pact on Asylum and Migration, which seeks to streamline asylum and deportation processes.
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn also conflicted with ministers from Austria, Germany, and Slovenia over the EU promising to allow Afghans to migrate legally to the European Union.
“The primary goal is to support people who are in mortal danger, who no longer live in freedom… It’s not to secure borders and to organize repatriation,” Asselborn said.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that while the talks were “intensive”, they laid the ground for a unified position, but said that not discussing numbers of Afghan migrants for resettlement was positive as it avoided potentially inspiring people to travel to Europe.
German Minister Promises to Take in 70,000 Afghans https://t.co/GEba1Y8R9P
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 31, 2021