Bulgaria and Romania will tie the adoption of mandatory migrant relocation quotas to their admission in the EU border-free Schengen zone, a senior Bulgarian government official has confirmed, euobserver reports.
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“Bulgaria and Romania share a stance different from [that of] the Visegrad Four”, Bulgarian deputy prime minister Meglena Kuneva said, referring to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, who are reluctant to take compulsory burden-sharing quotas and insist on tightening EU external border controls instead.
The two countries’ prime ministers, Boiko Borisov and Victor Ponta, agreed in a recent telephone call to maintain a joint position on the matter at Monday’s (14 September) meeting of interior and justice ministers, Kuneva said.
Asked specifically by a reporter if Bulgaria would support mandatory quotas, she replied: “Yes, I think it is in our interest … I don’t want the East Europeans to look less humane in this discussion, because there is the [nub] of the problem.”
She noted, however, that accepting an obligatory quota does not prevent her country from negotiating the number of migrants.
Under a previous relocation scheme which the European Commission proposed in May, Bulgaria agreed to take in some 500 refugees from Greece and Italy. The newly-proposed scheme requires it to accept another 1,500.
For the original full length article please go to https://euobserver.com/beyond-brussels/130202
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