Alberto Nardelli, Bloomberg, September 1, 2021
The European Union has floated a plan to spend 300 million euros ($355 million) to resettle about 30,000 refugees inside the bloc in a bid to avert a migration crisis following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, made the proposal to EU ambassadors at an Aug. 26 meeting on Afghanistan, according to a diplomatic note seen by Bloomberg. The commission added that additional funds could be made available.
The EU is eager to avoid a repeat of the 2015 refugee crisis caused by the Syrian war when more than a million migrants entered the bloc. The EU will focus on development aid, including support for refugees in Afghanistan’s neighbors like Pakistan and Tajikistan to prevent migration flows from reaching the EU, according to the note.
Support for refugees is a fraught topic in the bloc, with several member states firmly opposed to accepting any migrants. Janez Jansa, prime minister of Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, said on Twitter last month that Europe shouldn’t open any humanitarian migration corridors for Afghanistan to avoid the “strategic mistake” of 2015.