Latvia has re­set­tled 65% of the planned num­ber of refugees

Baltic News Network - - News -

In the two years pro­vided for the com­ple­tion of the es­tab­lished asy­lum seeker re­set­tle­ment project, Latvia has re­set­tled 346 out of 531 asy­lum seek­ers, ex­plains In­te­rior Af­fairs Min­istry. This means Latvia will not face sanc­tions for non-com­pli­ance with com­mit­ments.

In ac­cor­dance with Euro­pean Union’s re­set­tle­ment pro­gramme, Latvia has to re­set­tle 531 asy­lum seek­ers from other EU mem­ber states: 295 from Greece, 186 from Turkey and 50 Turk­ish refugee camps.

Of­fice for Cit­i­zen­ship and Mi­gra­tion Af­fairs re­ports that work on com­mit­ments con­tin­ues in spite of the ap­proach­ing dead­line. Latvia has re­set­tled 346 out of 531 asy­lum seek­ers so far. As part of the re­set­tle­ment pro­gramme, refugee sta­tus was pro­vided to ten peo­ple, al­ter­na­tive sta­tus was pro­vided to 302 peo­ple. 150 of sta­tus re­cip­i­ents were chil­dren.

Once they leave Muce­nieki Cen­tre, in­di­vid­u­als fall out­side of OCMA’s ju­ris­dic­tion, be­cause other in­sti­tu­tions take over su­per­vis­ing those in­di­vid­u­als, OCMA re­minds.

The of­fice re­ports that Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s re­port on the progress with EU re­set­tle­ment pro­gramme was pub­lished in July. EC notes that re­set­tle­ment ac­tiv­i­ties will con­tinue after 26 Septem­ber – Italy and Greece should main­tain con­tact with mem­ber states that have not yet com­pleted their com­mit­ments as­so­ci­ated with refugee re­set­tle­ment. Mem­ber states have to fin­ish com­plet­ing their com­mit­ments.

Con­sid­er­ing how many peo­ple Latvia has suc­cess­fully re­set­tled, no sanc­tions are likely. Still, Latvia has to con­tinue re­set­tling asy­lum seek­ers. ‘It is im­por­tant to note that re­al­iza­tion of the re­set­tle­ment pro­ce­dure is a re­sult of co­or­di­nated co­op­er­a­tion – in­volve­ment of all part­ners and per­for­mance of all re­quired ac­tiv­i­ties play a ma­jor role,’ OCMA notes. Lat­vian In­te­rior Af­fairs Min­is­ter Ri­hards Ko­zlovskis has con­firmed that Latvia will not face any sanc­tions. Nev­er­the­less, pre­vi­ous com­mit­ments will re­main in force. «It is not like a line will be drawn after 26 Septem­ber and coun­tries that did nothing will be pun­ished. Latvia does its best to stick to its es­tab­lished im­age. The fi­nal word with re­set­tle­ment pro­ce­dures lies with se­cu­rity in­sti­tu­tions,» says the min­is­ter.

Ko­zlovskis also said that most asy­lum seek­ers have al­ready left Latvia in search of greener pas­tures and Lat­vian au­thor­i­ties are un­able to limit their travel free­dom.

This sum­mer, Latvia re­ceived mul­ti­ple re­quests from Ger­many to send some asy­lum seek­ers back. This means peo­ple are sent back to Latvia to be re-in­ter­viewed by bor­der guards again. If it turns out those peo­ple committed no crimes, their free­dom will not be re­stricted. Nev­er­the­less, those peo­ple will lose so­cial sup­port pro­vided by Latvia after some time, the min­is­ter ex­plained. Read more on

Edijs Pālens/LETA

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