EU nations should take in 42,500 Afghans, says top EU commissioner

Afghans headed towards an airplane at Kabul airport on August 24, 2021. (MTI/EPA/U.S. Marines/Samuel Ruiz)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

EU member states are expected to receive more than 40,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said in Brussels on Thursday.

Johansson said at a press conference: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi estimates that at least 85,000 Afghans have sought refuge in countries neighboring Afghanistan who will have to find a new home within a few years due to capacity constraints in the host country.

“The European Union has the capacity to accommodate half of those affected, which means that member states would have to resettle some 42,500 Afghan refugees,” Johansson said.

“I think that’s feasible,” she added.

The EU Commissioner pointed out that many more were waiting to be evacuated from the conflict-affected country, including female judges and journalists and human rights activists.

She added that 24 of the EU member states have so far evacuated about 22,000 Afghans from their homeland. Johansson also said that the EU is “extremely worried” by the news of migrants being returned across the border, especially from the Croatian-Greek border.

She stated that reports of allegedly illegal and occasional forced removals of migrants at EU borders would be examined by the European Commission, adding that such cases, if proven, would constitute cases of misuse of EU funds provided to member states to protect borders.

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