Norway Gets Pressure from EU to Take in African Migrants
While European Union countries have been forced to take in thousands of migrants fleeing from different sections of the world in violent turmoil, Norway, which isn’t part of the EU, is getting pressured to do the same.
Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos wrote a letter to the Norwegian Immigration Minister Sylvi Listhaug demanding that the country take in more migrants.
The United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, had recently reached out to the EU to help deal with the 40,000 migrants that have fled from Africa.
“In the letter, I asked them to be as ambitious as possible, and I specifically asked them to increase efforts to accept quota refugees from North Africa and the Horn of Africa,” said Avramopoulos about the letter sent to Norway and other EU member states.
Earlier in March, Avramopoulos made a ridiculous claim that the EU will need to accept six million migrants in the near future, without giving a reason why.
The EU has launched a new initiative to help Africans escape to Europe easier by picking up the migrants directly from Africa.
Leading the way is Germany, which has negotiated with Egypt to set up a migrant reception center in North Africa where migrants will be screened for asylum status.
The French government is also currently trying to set up similar centers in African countries, like Libya.
It is likely countries like Poland and Hungary will not take redistributed migrants like the countries have refused to in the past.
The Hungarian and Slovak governments have attempted to appeal the redistribution agreement citing that it did not receive the consent of all member states, but the European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected it earlier this month.
While these countries have struggled with the strict regulations of the EU, Norway proves that a country can be successful without being in the EU.
The country is the fifth richest country in the world per capita, with the average salary being almost double the British average salary.
The former UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that leaving the EU would be a “leap in the dark,” but Katherine Kleveland, chair of Norway’s Nei til EU, an anti-EU group disagrees wholeheartedly.
“It’s not dark here on the outside. You have to remember the world is bigger than the EU and the EU is struggling these days with the refugee crisis and the euro problem,” said Kleveland.
Norway has voted to stay out of the EU twice in two EU referendums, but still has access to its single market.
“They said 100,000 jobs would be lost, that the economy would be hit, but it was shown to be false, said Kleveland in response to what the UK Remain campaigners said during the last referendum. “Our economy has growth and we didn’t lose jobs.”
However, Norway still felt the impact from the migrant crisis.
“We had a very large amount of asylum seekers last autumn and they came within a very short period of time. It was a very challenging situation for Norway and remains challenging because many of the people who came are still unregistered. We are trying to find out who they really are,” said Anders Amundsen, Norway’s Minister of Justice.
But, the country has been able to peacefully absorb the 31,000 migrants by taking a much different approach than the UK.
“We want the people coming to Norway and who gain residency to quickly learn Norwegian and to find a job as soon as possible,” said Listhaug. “The future of the country is what’s most important.”
Norway’s political leaders are also optimistic about what the Brexit will bring.
“We are a country that has always been opposed to elites. And the EU is an elite that takes too much power away from our parliament. We think it transfers too much sovereignty to an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels,” said Sygve Slagsvold Vedum, Center Party leader to The Associated Press. “Brexit means there is a new reality, and there will be new trade agreements with the EU. We want to see the opportunities.”
Author’s note: It seems like Norway is doing just fine without being part of the EU and has more control of its borders and how to deal with an influx of migrants.
Editor’s note: The EU has a lot of gall asking Norway to take in more refugees. Especially since the EU is having huge problems. My answer would be “screw you.” With the departure of the British, I’m looking for others to start exit talks in the next couple of years.