Under discussion until the end of the month is a new EU plan designed to stem and “better distribute” the thousands of refugees flooding into Europe across the Mediterranean Sea. Portugal is in line to take in 3.5% of the next two years’ 20,000 quota – which translates into just over 700 migrants.
But the plan is very likely to undergo changes as at least three member states, including the UK, are against it.
Indeed, UK home office minister Theresa May claims the plan does not stem the flow of migrants at all, rather it “incentivates” it.
With the issue making headlines throughout the world – today Thailand and Malaysia are seen to be juggling with refugee boats as neither country is prepared to take responsibility for the thousands on board – EU president Jean-Claude Juncker has tweeted that “no country should be left alone to face huge migratory pressures”.
The EU plan envisages “supplementary finance” of up to €50 million to deal with the crisis – which it stresses could work to Europe’s benefit as the European workforce is due to fall by 2060, as a result of falling birthrates.
Attending a conference entitled “Victims of crime in Europe: the future is now!”, Portugal’s Justice minister Paula Teixeira da Cruz reacted positively to the EU quota, saying: “Europe went into other countries for centuries without asking permission, so we cannot base our discussion on purely economic logic”.
Eurostat data shows that of 155 asylum requests in 2014, Portugal authorised only 40.
“Europe went into other countries for centuries without asking permission, so we cannot base our discussion on purely economic logic,” Paula Teixeira da Cruz said, according to Portuguese News Agency Lusa, at a conference entitled “Victims of crime in Europe: the future is now!” which took place in Lisbon on Wednesday.