Danish Immigration Minister on Afghan Refugees: EU Should Learn From 2015 Crisis Mistakes
16:04 GMT 01.09.2021 (Updated: 17:13 GMT 12.04.2023)
The problem of Afghan refugees came to the forefront after the Taliban* seized power in Kabul on 15 August, when the fall of the government prompted thousands of West-allied Afghans to start seeking ways out of the country.
Danish Minister of Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye has stated that refugees from Afghanistan should stay in their region rather than flee to Europe amid the Afghan crisis.
Speaking at the EU Council’s emergency ministerial meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Tesfaye referred to the council’s proposed draft statement on the matter, which warns Afghan refugees against entering the EU.
© REUTERS / Dominic Lipinski/PoolRefugees from Afghanistan wait to be processed after arriving on an evacuation flight at Heathrow Airport, in London, Britain August 26, 2021
Refugees from Afghanistan wait to be processed after arriving on an evacuation flight at Heathrow Airport, in London, Britain August 26, 2021
© REUTERS / Dominic Lipinski/Pool
He said that the statement clearly underlines that the refugees should avoid leaving their region, adding that “our task is to stabilise" the area so that international organisations working there are well financed.
“I am completely convinced that we will have to contribute with both technical assistance, logistics and finances to help [Afghanistan’s] neighbouring countries tackle the situation for years to come. That is the most important thing”, Tesfaye stressed.
The minister also pointed out that as far as Denmark is concerned, one should to learn from the refugee crisis in 2015, when hundreds of migrants were seen walking on Danish motorways. 2015 saw the worst migration crisis in EU history, with more than one million refugees entering Europe at the time, not least due to conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East.
Additionally, Tesfaye called for strengthening the EU’s external borders and providing more assistance to countries whose frontiers make up the external borders of the bloc.
European Commission’s Stance on Issue
Initially, the European Commission suggested that each and every EU member state assume the burden of extensive quotas for the reception and resettlement of Afghan refugees. Many, however, expressed frustration over the proposal, which was also slammed by Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Jansa, who took over the EU’s rotating presidency in July.
23 August 2021, 18:18 GMT
This all prompted the EU Council to shift its focus from discussing the possibility of receiving Afghan migrants to discussing the prospects of their placement in the region.
With the Taliban currently at the helm of Afghanistan, countries worldwide are facing the problem of thousands of Afghan refugees rushing to leave their country due to the fear of repression and detention by militants for their views.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.