200,000 refugees need relocation in Europe: UN

Geneva, Sep 4 (IANS) It is necessary to relocate 200,000 refugees who have arrived in Europe, while the continent failed to find “an effective common response to the crisis that only benefited the networks of traffickers”, the UN said on Friday.

“A very preliminary estimate would indicate a potential need to increase relocation opportunities to as many as 200,000 places,” Efe news agency quoted UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres as saying.

“People who are found to have a valid protection claim in this initial screening must benefit from a mass relocation programme, with the mandatory participation of all EU member states,” the UN commissioner commented on France and Germany’s stances announced on Thursday regarding this crisis.

Paris and Berlin are finalising a joint proposal, which is to be submitted in the coming days to the European authorities, for the establishment of a compulsorily quota system for all EU countries to receive refugees.

“Solidarity can not be the responsibility of only a few EU member states,” Guterres said.

The most affected countries by the immigration crisis are, on one hand, Italy and Greece, which act as gateways to countries of the EU and, on the other hand, Germany, Austria and Sweden, which are the main destinations for refugees.

“No country can do it alone, and no country can refuse to do its part. It is no surprise that, when a system is unbalanced and dysfunctional, everything gets blocked when the pressure mounts,” he said.

The UN official said a coherent programme of resettlement for refugees must be accompanied by adequate reception capacities, particularly in Greece.

“The EU must be ready, with the consent and in support of the concerned governments – mainly Greece and Hungary, but also Italy – to put in place immediate and adequate emergency reception, assistance and registration capacity,” Guterres said.

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