Candidates for EU membership to be declared safe

In an an article published in this Sunday’s edition of the newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel promoted the idea of joint EU policy to cope with refugee crisis, that comprised the thesis that countries that met EU criteria for the candidate country status should, at the EU level, be considered as safe countries of origin.

Touching on an idea that has mainly been championed by members of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democrats in recent weeks, Steinmeier and Gabriel called for an EU list of “safe countries of origin.” Germany has already designated a number of countries as such, and may add to its list, which includes countries that aspire to join the 28-member bloc. The two ministers noted a contradiction in the idea that countries in the Western Balkans could be deemed eligible to qualify for EU Association Agreements, while at the same time not being regarded as safe countries of origin for people seeking asylum in the bloc.

Almost half of the people who have arrived in Germany so far this year seeking asylum status have come from the Western Balkans and stood almost no change of being granted asylum.

The two ministers highlighted the need to send those who did not qualify for asylum back swiftly, in order to free up resources for refugees in need of protection.

Finally, Steinmeier and Gabriel note that the only way to combat the problem in the long term was to look for ways of improving the situation in the countries that people are feeling forced to flee.

“The stabilization of countries that are falling apart, the containment of violence and civil conflict, must go hand in hand with concentrated efforts towards economic development and the creation of real economic and social prospects in particular for young people in their countries of origin,” the two cabinet ministers concluded.

Izvor: RTV Montenegro