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Un Plans to Relocate Syrian Refugees to Northern Europe

Migration Madness: The UNCHR is lobbying the EU to institute a one-year trial for an “orderly relocation” programme which will entail moving thousands of Syrian refugees from southern Europe to richer countries in the north.

The proposal, outlined in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, and the commissioner for home affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos, is a radical departure from current EU policy, which forces asylum seekers to apply for asylum in their first country of entry, under legislation known as the Dublin law.

The director of the UNHCR’s Europe bureau, Vincent Cochetel, told the Guardian that the program was urgently needed.

“More than two-thirds of those disembarked in Italy moved on without fingerprinting or proper identification,” he added. “At a time of increased security concerns over movements from Libya, this situation is abnormal. Not all those saying that they are Syrians or Palestinians are Syrians or Palestinians. And not all of them are refugees.”

The conflicts in the Middle East has led to a refugee crisis with more than 3 million having fled Syria in the past four years and whilst the majority stay in neighbouring countries – Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan – tens of thousands travel to Europe on top of all the people who are seeking asylum for financial reasons.

Cochetel believes that the people moving across Europe illegally would be reduced if they could legally travel to join family or move to countries where they have language skills or work opportunities.

“Last month Turkey become the largest country of asylum in the world – very few people take notice of this. [The pilot project] will need to be large enough to constitute a credible alternative to what we have experienced so far: massive irregular secondary movements feeding trafficking, leading to human suffering and exploitation.”


I am sure the UNCHR’s intentions are good but this will do little to stem the tide of asylum seekers coming, on the contrary I would argue that this will backfire and increase the number of asylum seekers. Those who aren’t able to come legally will continue using human smugglers seeing as Sweden does not currently do proper background checks nor demands ID:s.

Welfare costs will mount and already struggling economies will be negatively impacted in turn exacerbating tensions between Northern and Southern Europe thus playing right into the hands of Eurosceptic and anti-immigrant nationalist parties.

Whilst Cochotel talks about language skills and work opportunities reality couldn’t be further from the truth in Sweden. Immigrants who are born abroad constitute 15% Sweden’s population yet simultaneously swallow up 60% of the country’s welfare expenditures (försörjningsstöd).

In 2013 Sweden took in almost 20% of Europes asylum seekers despite only having 2% immigrationof its population.

With regards to refugees, it takes 7 years until 50% are employed and whilst I am sure that most of them would like nothing more than to get a job, competition is fierce, even for those who speak fluent Swedish and have an adequate university degree.

Sweden is a country with a population of 9.6 million people and between 2000-2012 approximately 1.1 million immigrants were granted permanent residence. In 2012 alone 111,000 immigrants were granted residence and in the past couple of years the number of asylum seekers has skyrocketed.

In 2015 alone 90,000-100,00 people from the Middle East and North Africa are expected to seek asylum in Sweden.


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