EU quotas - 147 asylum seekers for Luxembourg
(CS/mig) Under a new quota system presented by the European Commission on Wednesday, Luxembourg is to welcome an additional 147 asylum seekers by 2016.
“We are ready to take on responsibility,” Prime Minister Xavier Bettel commented, “but one we can also carry.” He added that it would not make any sense to exceed capacity for the sake of looking good among the member states, “if we don’t have the necessary infrastructures.”
An inventory of existing asylum seeker homes and the number of beds available is currently undergoing, Bettel said.
However, he was unable to say how many communes had committed to welcoming additional asylum seekers as part of the review, which should be completed over the coming two weeks.
Bettel also said that there should be no ghettoisation of the asylum seekers homes, but asked for solidarity from the local population.
The quota system foresees a redistribution of asylum seekers arriving on Europe’s shores based on the population, unemployment rate and the economy, as well as the number of asylum seekers and refugees already in the country.
The quota system would apply temporarily to ease the burden placed on the EU’s Mediterranean countries, where most of the refugees arrive by boat.
A budget of 50 million euros has been earmarked to bring 20,000 refugees to Europe.
The UK, Ireland and Denmark can opt out from the quota plan, with the UK having advocated plans to send economic migrants back to their home countries upon arrival in an effort to help reduce the number of people embarking on the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea.
Other Commission plans include more aid for development programmes in North Africa and possible military action against people smugglers.