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Monday 22.07.2019 | Name days: Marija, Marika, Marina
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Latvian MEPs call EC to review refugee division mechanism

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian delegation of MEPs has sent a letter to Migration, Internal Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitri Avramopoulos, expressing concerns over European Commission’s proposed refugee and asylum seeker division mechanism.

According to a copy of the letter provided by LETA, it was signed by Artis Pabriks, Inese Vaidere and Krisjanis Karins. MEPs express their concerns that the proposal published by EC on 27 June, which states that Latvia will soon have to accept 737 refugees, does not take into account Latvia’s specific conditions.

In this letter, MEPs note that the matter of accepting refugees and asylum seekers cannot be forced upon anyone. They also criticize the proposed mechanisms.

At the same time, Unity deputies admit the problem of migration is one of the largest challenges Europe has to face.

«We believe the mechanism for dividing refugees among member states cannot be based solely on four criteria – population size, GDP, level of unemployment and number of previous refugees and asylum seekers. The mechanism should include specific conditions within countries: housing and integration opportunities, historic factors and immigration,» – as noted by Latvian MEPs in the letter.

It is also noted in the letter that Baltic States were forced to experience large scale immigration as a result of the occupation by the Soviet Union. The consequences of this still remain. Latvia and Estonia are the only European countries whose population of ethnic residents remains below the level of early 20th century. According to the latest population census data, Latvians make up only 62.1% of the country’s population, which is the lowest among EU countries. Latvia also has the largest number of residents that do not have EU citizenship – 14% of the population.

«We believe the division mechanism needs to be carefully reviewed anew in order to cultivate the sense of solidarity among EU member states. It needs to be fair and take into account historic factors like occupation and forced immigration,» – said the MEPs.

They add that it is necessary to find a solution to prevent the cause of large-scale migration, improve security and economic development in the Near East and Africa and EU eastern neighbouring states. The EU should also do everything in its power to combat organized crime, illegal human trafficking and help with security challenges along the European border. MEPs also note that there should also be a very strict asylum seeker return policy for people that do not qualify as refugees.

Ref: 102.109.109.6783


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  1. 15400 says:

    Latvias population declines by 15400 in 2014. I guess there is space for 737 refugees then..

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