The European Union introduced on Wednesday a new immigration plan that would bring at least 50,000 new people, primarily from African and Middle East nations, into member countries.
The proposed two-year plan will run through October 2019, and acknowledges the shift in migration patterns across the Mediterranean since the immigration crisis originating in Syria first emerged, the European Commission said in a statement.
“Whilst resettlement from Turkey and the Middle East must continue, increased focus should be put on resettling vulnerable persons from North Africa and the Horn of Africa,” the European Commission said in a statement.
Specific countries listed by The EU include Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia. The EU said €500 million is earmarked for migrant resettlement efforts in member states, but encouraged those countries to make additional financial commitments to the EU Trust Fund for Africa launched in 2015.
“Over the last two years, we finally built an EU policy on migration, which is starting to deliver. It is about managing one of the most complex, structural phenomena of our times, not a temporary emergency,” said Federica Mogherini, vice president of the European Commission and its High Representative on foreign affairs and security.
The previous efforts resulted in 23,000 migrant resettlements across the EU, but Italy and Greece have continued to bear the brunt of the migrant flows. An additional 37,000 migrants are still in processing in the stressed southern European nations and expected to be resettled as well.
The EU also emphasized the need for a stricter return policy for ineligible migrants, and announced changes to the Schengen visa-free travel policy among member nations to enhance security.
For more information about the new proposal, see this link.
Image: IOM file