The European Commission has announced a new plan to resettle 50,000 refugees to Europe.
Majority of these refugees came to the region from the African continent.
Europe is at the center of a crisis sparked by migration. In 2015 alone more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe. A number of countries in the continent struggled to handle the influx of people entering their territories. Countries within the EU have had disagreements on how best to deal with the problem while also helping those seeking refuge.
Much of the migration from Africa comes to Italy. According to figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 98,072 people came from Africa to Italy from January 2017 to August 23rd, 2017. Italy has worked with Libya to address migration. It should be noted that compared to the same period last year, Italy saw 7,000 fewer migrants reaching its shores.
In August 2017, leaders of European and African nations held wide-ranging talks to address this migration crisis. At the time the European countries agreed to help Chad and Niger with their border controls as a result.
The European Commission has set aside 500 million euros ($590m) for this plan. The bloc introduced a resettlement program during the height of the crisis in 2015. This new proposal involves allowing refugees to get re-settled through this program.
In a statement the commission said, “Under today's proposals, member states will also be able to exceptionally prolong controls if the same threat persists.” The commission has said that particular focus needs to be placed on refugees from vulnerable regions like Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia.
European Union Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “We need to open real alternatives to taking perilous irregular journeys. Europe has to show that it is ready to share responsibility with third countries, notably in Africa. People who are in genuine need of protection should not risk their lives or depend on smugglers.”
However, he has also made it clear that the organization would not allow those who do not have the “right” to indefinitely stay in Europe adding, “We have to be clear and brutally honest, people who have no right to stay in Europe must be returned.”
EU has already re-settled 23,000 refugees, primarily from Turkey and Jordan who fled trying to escape the Syrian war. The re-settlement program is different from EU's compulsory refugee quotas.
Resettlement is managed by the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
Our assessment is that the new proposal is a bid to monitor and control thousands of refugees seeking safety in Europe. It will also discourage migrant boats from making the risky Mediterranean crossing. The refugee crisis will only end if the international community aids in bringing stability to such vulnerable regions.