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Prague wants to know EU’s long-term solution to migration crisis

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Luxembourg, July 9 (CTK) – The Czech Republic wants to know what the EU will do in the years to come to stem the current huge migration wave, Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told reporters ahead of Thursday’s meeting of EU ministers, at which he will present Prague’s plan to accept 1500 refugees by 2017.

“We will seek a debate about the whole system of migration policy, which Europe should have dealt with as far as ten years ago,” Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.

The meeting of the EU interior and justice ministers takes place in Luxembourg.

At the EU summit in June, the member countries rejected the EC’s proposal to introduce mandatory quotas for the redistribution of 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers from Italy and Greece among the remaining EU states in the next two years.

The Czech Republic was to accept about 1320 refugees, according to the plan.

However, the EU countries pledged in June to accept the same number of people on the voluntary basis. They are also to accept another 20,000 refugees from outside Europe who are entitled to international protection.

On Wednesday, the Czech cabinet approved a plan to accept 400 refugees this year and 700 and 400 in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Out of them, 1,100 refugees would be accepted from Italy and Greece, and the remaining 400 are to come from refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Kurdistan, the government decided.

The June summit set a deadline for the interior and justice ministers to present detailed plans. Some countries have not specified their planned voluntary help as yet, however. As a result, Chovanec said, the issue may be discussed by the EU extraordinary summit that has been convoked for Sunday mainly in connection with the Greek debt crisis.

“Our pledge to share responsibility does not mean that…the Czech Republic can leave the process going without its participation in the debate on what will happen in five or ten years,” Chovanec said.

He said the EC should seek a secure non-EU country where refugee facilities could be established for migrants to be deflected outside the EU.

Tunisia was mentioned in this connection in the past.

Prague will also want to discuss the fact that Europe succeeds in returning only 39 percent of the refugees who failed to gain asylum to their countries of origin, Chovanec said.

“We will want to know the EC’s plan for the preparation of readmission agreements,” he added.

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