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Sweden announces EU immigration reform plans

AFP/The Local · 25 Aug 2009, 08:37

Published: 25 Aug 2009 08:37 GMT+02:00

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The European Union will present proposals on reforming its immigration policy in response to an ever increasing flow of people willing to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

The proposals concern a so-called "relocation" policy, whereby refugees who land on the shores of Europe's Mediterranean countries would be transferred to other EU member states, as well as a more efficient asylum policy, Swedish Immigration Minister Tobias Billstrm told AFP.

The EU member states' application of the proposed policies would be voluntary, Billström added.

"This relocation project is to be presented in September by the vice-president of the (European) Commission, Jacques Barrot," who is also EU justice commissioner, Billström said.

Regarding the asylum policy reform, which is aimed at establishing refugee quotas in the EU, "we're waiting for a proposal from the commission in September as well," he said.

More than 67,000 people crossed the Mediterranean in 2008 to try to enter Europe illegally, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and some of them have died at sea.

Italy, Malta, Spain and Greece have asked the European Union to help them share the burden of refugees crossing the Mediterranean, usually from Turkey and Libya.

Last week, five Eritrean migrants rescued off the Italian island of Lampedusa said 73 other migrants had perished during the crossing from Libya and that their bodies had been dumped at sea.

European Commission spokesman Dennis Abbott, speaking in Brussels, said the role of the EU's executive arm was a coordinating one, as it was up to the 27 member states to police their borders and set asylum policy.

"We are well aware of the extreme difficulties and the problems which some Mediterranean countries are faced with, and the need to better share the burden at the European level," he said.

"It is about finding the right balance, but we are talking about national competences," Abbott added, stressing that directives from Brussels were not the only way to tackle the problem.

Story continues below…

"We spend a lot of money helping third countries to improve facilities so that people do not actually want to leave them in the first place," he told AFP.

The seriousness with which all EU nations treated the issue was demonstrated, he said, in EU summit conclusions which spoke of "firmness, solidarity and shared responsibility" on immigration.

"The commission will help member states to share the burden," he promised.

However, one EU source admitted that immigration and asylum are not such major problems in some northern European member states and that those nations are keen not to increase the rules binding them on immigration policy.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:09 August 25, 2009 by hpunlimited
They are completely missing the point and the target. They are only treating the "symptoms" and not the main problem.

If you stop illegal immigrantion then you do not have to deal with the relocation problems. I find it so funny that they can track down a terrorists within 100m but 73000 illegal immigrants just "slips" in. This is a pure scandal!!!
10:27 August 25, 2009 by siam16
realistically, imagin 1 billion Indians more then 1.3 billions chinese, and hundreds of millions pakistaniz, Bangladesh's etc all wanting to escape missery of their country and come to Europe. this is a true nightmare...

the wold must make plans for better living conditions in those countries.
11:10 August 25, 2009 by hpunlimited

You are right!! If people from these countries that you mention escape poverty and go to Europe, we will simply get poverty here in Europe as well. That is hardly something that we want. The responibility for these countries and its citizens can hardly be put on Europe. Every country is responisble for its own.

If 73000 illegal immigrants enter the EU, send them back and send a bill to their respective country for the, airplane ride, housing and lodging. If the EU started doing that, then it would very quickly stop!!
12:00 August 25, 2009 by LundenLad
this problem is a 1000 times worse than a few airplanes being flown into buildings, but no-one takes it seriously yet.The greenest option for planet earth is population control, because resource demand will outstrip supply and soon

12:29 August 25, 2009 by glamelixir
why does it always seem to me that politicians lack of common sense?

How is it so clear for us commenting here and totally different for them?

Are we missing something?

Illegal immigration is a crime, period. It should be treated as so. Does it sound hard what I say? yes. Is it true and according to the laws? yes indeed.

Look at Sweden, how many refugees do they have? Still with no social incertion at all, totally isolated outside the cities with no possibilities of working in the white market and increasing the tax evasion in the black market. So... sollution? That is hardly a solution.

If you let a group of people break the law you will have an avalanche of people doing the same afterwards. They will only make the problem bigger.
13:12 August 25, 2009 by antoniolgj
That's how the immigration law should be...

Bogus Asylum - Immediate deportation.

Illegal Immigrant - Immediate deportation.

Criminal Immigrants - Immediate deportation.

Refugee Quota - 0 until further notice.

Immigration from non EU countries (except US or Australia) - on hold until further notice.

That simple.
13:16 August 25, 2009 by Lisaann
I agree with gla....., to some degree. We should all have compassion for these refugees, but the onus is on the Goverments of these countries to look after their own people. There will always be enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed! It seems that even this world recession has not changed man-kind. Corrupt Governments must be weeded out, through the UN, and programs put in place to ensure a better sustainability of human existence.

Housing, Jobs and Health are the fundamentals to sustaining life. Every Government should have the means to ensure that its country meets the basic needs. Sometimes, it goes beyond Economics. The UN needs to re-engineer, and put in place, a policy that would ensure each nations its own right of sovereignty.
13:29 August 25, 2009 by Raven350
Siam16 & hpunlimited your 'realistic' imaginations of people from countries you have mentioned wanting to move to Europe appears to be a figment of your 'realistic' imaginations.

Dont fool yourself to believe that there is no misery in Europe.

Your suggestions on billings are quite amusing and display an immature outlook without knowing the problem in its entirety.
14:02 August 25, 2009 by here for the summer

I don't understand your point. There is misery in Europe and the West most of it is due to 1) mental illness 2) substance abuse 3) illegal immigration beyond the ability of the counties

The biggest part of illegal immigration is economic migration. African immigrants and middle eastern are the obvious problem in Europe due to proximity. The US it's the Southern borders and Hati.
14:11 August 25, 2009 by Localer

Immigration from non EU countries (except US or Australia) - on hold until further notice.

Why people from the States and OZ get special treatment, but others not ?
14:59 August 25, 2009 by AussieGurl
so much land so much space, i dont understand y countries like australia and usa and euro countries dont want 2 take people in who obviously r desperate to get away from war...sucha selfish act...if all the money they spend on wars was instead spent on improving people's lives this would be a much better world.
16:20 August 25, 2009 by antoniolgj

We don't want these people here because with them it comes also crime, violence, and all sort of social problems, beside they, and theirs offspring, will be on the dole for life.

If that wasn't enough, once they set foot here, they start claiming their "rights" demanding changes in our society to accommodate their medieval life style.

That's why...
16:22 August 25, 2009 by browneyes10
@AussieGurl , I agree especially with your last two sentences.
16:55 August 25, 2009 by voidplay
The real unsustainability is not population is wealth. Because that is something that everyone want more and more of. The western model of wealth generation assumes those with money and power will make more and more of it while there are cheaper labor and resources outside that can be exploited.

In a globalised world where resources move freely and unhindered accross borders so will the people who actually own them.

I am from India and for what I can see most of the local brands have been wiped out but western MNCs. Let us take coca cola for instance them pump out most of the water for free, bottle millions of liters. Very few real low paying jobs are generated as a result and the govt earns a small percentage as tax but the bulk of the money leaves the country and most locals end up having to buy water.

Part of the free market system would mean that wealth generation continues, and europe or America as you know is a stagnant market. So exploitation of the 2 billion people who live exactly like their anscestors lived 2000 years ago and maybe another billion who live in "Urban" areas with no urban facilities and exploitation of their resources is what is keeping our economies on the high.

Ilegal imigration my friends is a very very small price to pay for the returns that we are getting. In the first place an open labor market would put an end to loss of jobs in the west. But you wouldn't be earning a weeks Asian wages in an hour. And to be honest it is my belief that if not for the reconstruction contracts in Iraq we would not be having the war in the first place.
17:29 August 25, 2009 by rumcajs
Antonio, USA and Australia? Let me remind you that white Americans and Australians went from Europe to there for the same reasons these people are coming here now. Nothing againts them, I just find your comment quite racist.
19:44 August 25, 2009 by Beynch
Of all the organizations that should "investigate" anything in Sweden, the UN would have to be last! This left leaning, USA hating, Western-hostile nest of primitive third-world racketeers and thieves should have no business "investigating" anything in a Western civilization. Who initiated this debacle? One would love to know. Wouldn't one? Hopefully Sweden will not be obligated to follow any of its findings or recommendations, but will continue to set its own immigrations policies, unmolested by outside interests. The outcome is already known. Clearly, the UN must have other more pressing matters to tend to than the over-the-top liberal immigration policies of a sovereign first world nation. Sweden should be insulted!
22:22 August 25, 2009 by orionorbit
Well, most posts in this topic sting of ignorance and some subtle racism even.

And coming from the country that receives most illegal imigrants per capita in the world (Greece) I would like to clarify a couple of things:

First of all, "immediate deportation" is a joke. Most immigrants come from countries such as pakistan that will NOT accept back any immigrants deported.

Second, Greece has a coastline equal to half that of Africa, i.e. even if every Greek citizen was working as border police, those immigrants would still go through. And seriously, as a Greek taxpayer i don't see why we need to pay even a dime to stop those people.

Third, Crime etc sounds to me like typical right wing stupidity. The proportion of immigrants commiting crimes is similar to that of EU natives of the same income level and social class, i.e. if you compare crime rates of pakistani guys to that of say German poor jobless guys they are very similar.

Fourh and most important: why on earth would we allow imigration from the US or australia and not the third world? That's a seriously retarded point of view. Immigrants should be accepted on the basis of their education and skills, not their nationality.

Finaly, i don't see why a hard working immigrant doesn't deserve to live in europe. If he's not qualified or whatever, he's not going to find a job anyway, but he should at least be allowed to stay in europe for some months to LOOK for a job. If he is better than an EU native he should get the job, it's simple as that.
23:29 August 25, 2009 by mkvgtired
antoniolgj, Agreed. How much longer can Europe absorb illegal African and Middle Eastern immigrants before the government financial systems collapse? They come to Europe then claim every government benefit they can. Then they scream about how Europeans violate their way of life by not conforming to it. Hey if you don't like how people live in the West there is an ENTIRE continent and sub-continent for you to move back to.

Beynch, very true. I don't know how we let this happen. The UN will take an anti-Western stance on virtually every issue. They always want MORE money and aid to go to these evil dictators in remote corners of the world. The most worthless and self-destructive (by a Western perspective) organization in existence today.
05:27 August 26, 2009 by lingonberrie
Just work on finding an alternative location, specifically out of the Scandinavian region, and set up an efficient and humane transportation system to this end.

There are more than a few nations that would willingly contribute the money to fund this event that their citizens would willingly pay in taxes, for the obvious benefits.

Afterward, work on convincing those who have immigrated but who have not assimilated and have no intention of doing so to join them.

Within a year, the changes in Sweden alone would be remarkable.
08:50 August 26, 2009 by thegraou
@ Orionorbit: I totally agree with you about everything but ONE. This article talks about people who are risking their lives to leave their countries and come to rich countries like ours (I'm Frnech, but has been in for 2 years now). And my qyestion is then: do you think that people we are talking about here are qualified people...? As you said, violence, crimes and so on are not about nationality but social level. And the real problem is that people who are risking their lives in overloaded boats, or swimming betwwen Marroco and Spain for example ARE NOT educated people, they are from low classes, and so, yes, maube it's hard to say and read that, but they bring violence and crime, vecause of their social class!

And as a French, I think I know what I'm talking about... sadly...
08:52 August 26, 2009 by magic1964

For one hard working immigrant how many who come here to live on welfare ?? how many wohman who just stay home with more than 5 kids ?? .....kids who end up in the street at the age of 10 ???? why not make serious statistics ???

When Greeks, Polish, Spanish, Italian emigrated to France, Australia or North America in the last century....they all had to work because there was no welfare there !!!!!!!
10:58 August 26, 2009 by rafafloripa
Maybe they should relocate them to Siberia... Done before with great results!

antoniolgj is a short-sighted xenophobe afraid of people he doesn't know. Should be deported, or exiled if Swedish.
11:33 August 26, 2009 by magic1964

YOU CAN´T ONLY BLAME POVERTY to explain violence and crimes..there are also cultural aspect which explain violence.

It would be interesting to compare levels of crimes between different poor communities....but this types of studies are forbiden in France because considered racist.....sadly!
17:49 August 26, 2009 by thegraou

I agree... But as you say, if you say something like, you're a racist! I don't think I'm racist, but when I hear that "f*** you French" is not punishable while "f*** you Arab" is, well YES, I'm ANGRY!

No wonder why I don't want to go back to France, and why I begin to be really worried for Sweden! For example, this project about "rights for immigrants'children to go to school"... I really hope that won't be accepted, because that will be the begin of the end, as in France...
19:41 August 26, 2009 by Michael84
now i'm not a politician or anything but i say, the most effective way to protect the EU from unwanted immigrants(i mean uneducated immigrants who usually don't help to the improvment of the union) is to get EU companies establish branches in those countries. it's a win win plan. cuz the production costs would decrease dramatically beside people would stay at their countries.

The idea is we live in the same world if you light a fire somewhere or just be ignorant about what's going on somewhere else, it eventually damages you.
04:14 August 27, 2009 by devrimas
Till 1950s, for 3 hundred years, from todays EU lands migration occured to other parts of the world. When they migrated, they slaugtered the natives, established their own rule, enslaved them, violated their way of living and exploited their resourses. Only for, around, 50 years todays EU countries recieve migration. Altough these migrants brougt some security and wellfare problems too, leave along re-constructing the existing societies here, mostly they end up in cleaning toilets, picking up garbage and serving in restaurants to former colonizers so that they can eat some delicious food apart from meat and potatoes.

And if latter is called a problem, how should the former be defined?
05:20 August 27, 2009 by AussieGurl
i dont understand europe.if u dont like immigrants and ur racist then dont take them innnn...its simple,just reject their applications instead of approving it then once theyre in ur country u treat them bad. They wana go 2 civilized countries to improve their lives not be treated as they were bak in their home country. france is a great example.they accept immigrant then treat them bad and critize them for what they wear or what religion they r.
07:49 August 27, 2009 by thegraou
@ Aussiegurl:

Could you tell me where you come from please?
08:58 August 27, 2009 by magic1964

I don´t feel guilty for what the Europeans did in the past !!!!

All big civilisations did the same thru 5000 years.....do Arabs feel guilty to have use slavery as mush as Europeans ??

Incas, Mongols, Arabs and Mayas etc etc have exterminated other cicilisations..do they feel guilty ?? so why only us have to bend and say sorry ????
09:25 August 27, 2009 by voidplay
Migrations have been going on for millions of years. And animals do that to, it isn't going to stop anytime soon. Illegal immigrants are a 'problem' for the third world countries too when people flee from wars or famines and often a bigger problem when part of the refugees are also rebels/guerilla.

@magic1964: you are right but you need to look further.

In Sweden many of the refugees are from Iraq, Afganistan, Chile, Bolivia.

Who installed Saddam, Taliban, Pinochet

Further on Iran and entire S.A. was a play ground for the US and her alies (all those who had a stake there).

And as for Africa, the english, the french, the ducth still have huge economic interests and military operation, covert or otherwise.
11:52 August 27, 2009 by Rebel
Relocation of these illegal aliens to other EU states so Italy and Greece don't get all the progblem? Voluntary? Does anyone see the Greeks and Italians laughing and saying "Let's ship them all to Sweden, they will take anyone."
13:31 August 27, 2009 by AussieGurl
@ thegraou : im from australia. and damn proud of it. we treat people equally here. every1 here gets da same education, work and social rights.
14:24 August 27, 2009 by magic1964

Always the same and the same left wing ideologie....it´s never African´s fault, never muslims´s fault it´s always our fault.......either you think they are immature kids either you think they are retarded and can´t be think for themselves ???...are you racist ???
16:46 August 27, 2009 by Marc11
The news today is that powerful western and Chinese companies are buying up land in places like Africa for the production of bio fuel. Some civil society organizations on the continent are saying this new deal is laying the ground for future conflicts since the natives are losing their land for little or nothing and will have to fight over the small land that remains.

Now in the future when these conflicts come about and people are uprooted will it be wrong for them to go to other places to seek a better life? Is it moral to compel people to live where it is unlivable?

Slavery, colonialism, etc come to mind. Everubody deserves a better life not just those with big guns or deep pockets.
21:19 August 27, 2009 by voidplay

I must probably write a blog to explain how money works, and being left is not an insult it is just an ideology. I don't believe communism works.

you could just answer why Iraq war and give a good answer you would understand what I mean.
15:33 August 28, 2009 by BaronessKvP
Well, ...There goes the rest of what's left of Europe and it's culture and race in the "big", never ending, deadly, "CHANGES" being made by those who are forming a "One World Order!" Mainly bankers and corporations whom are trying to divvy up each area of our world, regardless of culture, race or any people's will against this. For instance, This new immigration policy shall cause a tsunami of Africans and Arabs, mostly all muslims, anti caucasian, anti West, anti European way of life peoples of all kinds to quickly overpopulate and destroy Europe forevermore. If you allow this you condemn yourselves and destroy what was left to you to protect by thousands of years of their trials and strife by your forefathers. Remember, this is what happened in the U. S. A. when the Kennedy brothers, Bobby and Ted, changed their countries immigration policy. A flood gate let in all sorts of people who's ancestors had no part in the making and forming of that nation, who bring with them a hatred for it's freedoms, it's Western way of life and are attacking it relentlessly now, as an enemy from within. Not coming there to assimilate and fit in, as millions of people had done in the past, but to "CHANGE" the status quo and destroy this amazing nation from within. They do the same in Europe, by not respecting your laws, by not speaking your languages, by attacking your people whenever possible and however possible.
05:09 August 30, 2009 by Ashlito
13:31 August 27, 2009 by AussieGurl

@ thegraou : im from australia. and damn proud of it. we treat people equally here. every1 here gets da same education, work and social rights.

you are a fool............learn how to write properly first............yeah what fantasy part of Australia do you live in...we have the same problems as anywhere else...even more so...don't spout off ill informed propaganda
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