France urges EU states to welcome asylum seekers from frontline countries

France is trying to push European Union countries to agree to a plan to relocate around 10,000 asylum seekers to member states that agree to take them in.

According to AFP, a French document established that the plan calls for a voluntary solidarity mechanism on a 12-month trial basis, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.

The document, which was presented at a meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg on Friday, foresees that the 19 Schengen countries will welcome asylum seekers from frontline states – Greece , Malta and Italy – as these three countries have faced high numbers of arrivals.

It was explained that countries that decide not to receive asylum seekers will be required to provide financial support to those that do receive asylum seekers.

EU diplomats said that under the non-binding measure, around 10,000 asylum seekers would be accepted each year, the local explains.

Commenting on this, the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, said that the majority of countries had shown themselves in favor of this solidarity and that others, such as France and Germany, were in favor of relocations. Such a thing was considered very positive by the Minister.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson also said it was an important step. She said that countries that host refugees other than those from Ukraine need solidarity.

“All countries are affected by the Ukrainian refugee crisis. But we also have other refugees and migrants arriving, and we need solidarity for that,” read Johansson’s statement.

The local points out that Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, said about 12 countries are behind the plan. Nevertheless, Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner strongly opposed it.

Karner said he was absolutely against sending the wrong message to smugglers.

Besides Austria, the Dutch authorities have also already declared that they will not accept asylum seekers. However, they failed to understand that the country could contribute in other ways.

By trying to introduce such a system, EU authorities aim to minimize the movement of asylum seekers from one country to another because, in most cases, asylum seekers wish to reach countries richer.

SchengenVisaInfo.com reported earlier today that the Council of the EU has already adopted a general approach on the Schengen Borders Code. Among many others, the reform provides new tools to fight against the instrumentalization of migratory flows.