During a meeting of interior ministers, states agreed to offer up €1billion (£858million) to give to neighbouring states in order to take on refugees and stop them from entering the bloc, one insider said. Indeed, stated the agreed amount may rise depending on what the neighbouring states “deem sufficient”. While thousands of Afghan refugees rush to escape the clutches of the Taliban, the EU released a statement pledging to stop a large-scale migration crisis which it has faced in the past.
As reported by Politico’s, Hans von der Burchard, EU states fear a repeat of the 2015/16 crisis which saw migrants flee Syria for the bloc.
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, the EU said: “Based on lessons learned, the EU and its Member States 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.
“The EU should also strengthen the support to the countries in Afghanistan’s immediate neighbourhood to ensure that those in need receive adequate protection primarily in the region.”
The statement also pledged to use its border force, Frontex, to protect the EU’s boundaries from unauthorised entrants.
The unspecified fund was almost thrown out following a clash over the failure to make pledges to allow Afghans in need to legally migrate and settle within the EU.
Following the EU’s pledge to protect its borders, some ministers including Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, claimed the goal is to protect Afghans rather than stopping them from entering the bloc.
He said: “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.
“I criticize this in strongest terms. That’s not the attitude that the European Union should have today.”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 2.6 million Afghan refugees across the world.
Of that number, 2.2 million are located in Iran and Pakistan although that number is set to rise by the end of 2021.
The EU Commission has stated it hopes to relocate up to 30,000 people within the bloc.
Despite the EU’s pledge, Poland is set to introduce a state of emergency in order to stop migrants crossing its border from Belarus.
The Polish government asked President Andrzej Duda to declare a state of emergency in two eastern regions that share a border with Belarus.
Poland has accused the Belarussian president, Alexander Lukashenko, of pushing migrants into the country.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister said: “Lukashenko’s regime decided to push these people onto Polish, Lithuanian and Latvian territory in an effort to destabilise.
“The situation on the border with Belarus is a crisis.”
Last week, Poland began to erect a barbed-wire fence along its border to stop migrants entering the country.
Ylva Johansson the EU’s migration commissioner told Euronews the situation in Belarus is unacceptable.
“What we see from Lukashenko is an extreme act of aggression towards the European Union.
“He’s using human beings in an instrumentalised way. This is totally unacceptable.”
“This is really, really a dangerous way to act.
“So I think it’s important that we stand together against Lukashenko and what he’s doing.”