NEWS

Dutch Presidency, Commission voice concern over unilateral action on refugees

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Alarmed by unilateral steps by European Union states  – which involve closing borders and putting a cap on asylum applications – to deal with the refugee crisis, Dutch Minister for Migration Klaas Dijkhoff and European Commissioner for Migration Dimitirs Avramopoulos have called for a common European approach on the issue.

A statement issued Wednesday said that the Dutch Presidency of the Council and the Commission were aware of the pressure on different countries along the Balkan route, voicing however concern over the humanitarian fallout in certain countries, “especially in Greece.”

“All countries involved have a responsibility and obligation to respect the European rules and put an end to the ‘wave through’ approach. While doing so, governments should take into account the effects in neighboring countries,” the statement said.

Dijkhoff and Avramopoulos called on all states along the route to prepare the necessary contingency planning to be able to address humanitarian needs, including reception capacities. At the same time, they said, the Commission is coordinating a contingency planning effort to offer support in case of a humanitarian crisis both outside and within the EU.

“All member states should act in a joint spirit of solidarity and responsibility, especially in times when unity and common solutions are needed,” they said.