Norway rejects EU request to accept rescued migrants
12 Jul 2019, 20:27 ( 3 Months ago)
Norway has rejected the European Union's (EU) request for help in accepting relocated migrants picked up in the Mediterranean Sea, the news agency NTB reported on Friday.
"In the assessment, it was emphasized, among other things, that relocation may increase incentives for persons without the need for protection to travel across the Mediterranean," Gunnar A. Johansen, communications manager in the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security, told NTB.
"It can help maintain a market for the smugglers," he added.
Norway wants a binding and permanent distribution system in which all European countries participate, Johansen said.
Lars Haltbrekken, a member of Norway's Socialist Left Party (SV), reacted sharply to the government's attitude.
"We must give those refugees who come to Norway a good treatment of the asylum application and be able to integrate those who have a need for protection. But the government instead closes the door and thus leaves all the responsibility to other countries that have poorer conditions," he said.
In 2018, Norway accepted a similar request, which resulted in seven migrants from the rescue boat MV Lifeline being relocated from Malta to Norway, NTB reported.