EU chief says refugee acceptance plan 'not working'

EU immigration chief says refugee acceptence plan is not working as European countries tightening their border security checks

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

EU Commissioner for Migration Avramopoulos give a news conference in Brussels.

The European Union's immigration chief says refugee acceptance plan is not working as more European countries are tightening border security checks to deal with refugee flow.

Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday that "the situation is getting worse."  He told EU lawmakers in Brussels that "more and more member states are reintroducing border controls" as a response of refugee flow.

The EU members had agreed on a plan in September to distribute 160,000 refugees who arrived in Greece and Italy, but just less than 300 refugees were settled in other countries. 

Avramopoulos said "these schemes have not delivered the expected results," as thousands of thousands people fleeing from conflict and poverty in Middle East and Africa. 

Refugee Crisis in Europe

Europe has been facing the highest number of refugees since World War II.

The International Organisation for Migration announced last December that one million refugees fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa crossed into Europe in 2015, while nearly 3,700 people lost their lives in their attempt to flee.

In last November the European Union and Turkey reached an agreement for a refugee action plan.

According to the plan, Turkey will tighten security checks on its border against refugee activities in exchange for visa-free travel and broading EU membership talks between the EU and Turkey.

Turkey already hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees with almost 2.5 million refugees and has spent around 8 billion euros ($8.73 billion) to provide for the refugees since 2011.

TRTWorld and agencies