Sint keuze 2016
De inhoudsopgave - al die andere berichten - staat in de rechter kolom die helaas HEEEEEL langzaam laadt. Scrollen dames en heren!
“All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know from what you do.” – Sir Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington

"My dear. A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears. "
- Violet in Downton Abbey

18 september 2016

Portugal to Syrians: Come West

Originally placed here: http://www.politico.eu/article/portugal-to-syrians-come-west-refugee-crisis-portuguese-prime-ministerantonio-costa/


Portugal hopes its welcome for refugees will save Europe, if they can be persuaded to come.
By
Updated

LISBON, Portugal — Plenty of European leaders have a problem with refugees, but António Costa’s is unusual: the Portuguese prime minister can’t get enough of them.
Costa has unilaterally more than doubled the quota allocated to Portugal under a European Union program to relocate refugees languishing in Italy and Greece.
The 10,000 he’s agreed to receive is a drop in the ocean compared to the over 1.3 million people who have flooded into Europe over the past 14 months.
Yet the offer from small, economically challenged Portugal looks generous set against the line taken by countries shunning the EU plan, which is designed to relieve the Greeks and Italians by resettling 160,000 refugees around the 28-nation bloc.
“This crisis is a threat to European values,” Costa told parliament before flying off to last week’s EU summit. “We have to be resolute in tackling it, to maintain the essential value of human dignity.”
He wants Portugal to set an example of European solidarity, as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and others resist refugee relocation.
So far, however, just 149 refugees have trickled in to Portugal under the relocation plan.
That pitifully low number is due, Portuguese officials insist, more to the inefficiencies of the EU plan than any lack of readiness on their part.
They point out that Portugal is still in third place — behind France and Finland — in receiving refugees under the plan.
After welcoming a first planeload of 64 refugees flown directly from Greece on March 7, the government is studying an appeal from refugee support groups for an EU-funded air-bridge to bring in many more and serve as a model for other countries.
It’s unclear, however, how many refugees are willing to swap Greece for Portugal, rather than pursue their goal of reaching Germany, Sweden or other preferred northern destinations.
As record numbers of refugees poured into the EU last year, Portugal got just 872 asylum requests. That included 19 Syrians, five Iraqis and four Afghans — the three nationalities at the forefront of the flow into Europe.
By far the largest group heading to Portugal was Ukrainian — seeking to join compatriots who make up the country’s biggest non-Portuguese-speaking immigrant community.
A group of 74 Syrians did show up in late 2013 after a circuitous journey through Turkey, Morocco and Guinea-Bissau. Portuguese authorities put them up in a seaside vacation complex outside Lisbon, but they disappeared days later, thought to be headed for Germany.
“Many of the refugees don’t know Portugal, they have no idea of the conditions that have been prepared here to receive them. We have to make an effort to inform them of the opportunities,” says Rui Marques, coordinator of the Refugee Support Platform, which is pushing the air-bridge plan.

Importing talent

There’s across-the-board political support for Costa’s policy of encouraging more Middle Easterners to head for mainland Europe’s westernmost country.
It’s not hard to find malcontents muttering about refugees posing a security risk or burdening already tight finances, but Portugal, along with neighbor Spain, is an exception in a Europe where support for ultra-rightist groups has surged in response to the refugee influx.
A nationalist party that ran on an anti-refugee platform in last October’s general election picked up a mere 0.5 percent of the vote.
In parliament last week, the center-right opposition united behind a motion backing the refugee policy of Costa’s Socialist administration. A resolution condemning the closing of borders in Europe won unanimous support.
“It’s desperate how Europe is flailing about, unable to find a response to this tragedy,” complained conservative lawmaker Pedro Mota Soares. “Ten successive summits have failed to produce answers.”
Cynics suggest the big hearted refugee policy — given the lack of actual refugees — is an easy way for Costa to make friends in Berlin and Brussels as he seeks to persuade eurozone budget hawks to grant space for his drive to “turn the page on austerity.”
It’s a charge the government hotly denies.
“Portugal is not aiming to win points with its policy on refugees, or to gain capital that could be used in other areas. This is not our motivation,” Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said during a recent meeting with foreign journalists. “Providing a welcome to refugees is an obligation under international law.”
For citizens worried about the cost in a land struggling to consolidate a fragile recovery after years of recession, Costa promotes possible economic benefits.

He wants to recruit Middle Eastern farmers and forestry experts to help repopulate rural regions short on manpower. Costa’s also hoping to attract the brightest: visiting Berlin last month, he announced an offer of 2,000 university places for Syrian students.

Memories of the retornados

The open Portuguese approach has its emotional side. Few families here were left untouched by the country’s own refugee crisis in 1975, when up to 1 million people — a tenth of Portugal’s population — fled to the motherland from Angola and four other newly independent former colonies in Africa.
Memories of quaysides crowded with retornados clutching their meager belongings are etched deep in the national psyche.
“The return from the colonies has left Portugal with a very significant experience in this area,” says Marques. “What Portugal did in 1975, shows what Europe could do if it had the will. Proportionally it would be like Europe taking in 56 million people, yet it’s failing to handle one million.”
More recently, Portugal has also won kudos for successes in integrating foreign migrants. It ranked second to Sweden in MIPEX 2015, an EU-funded survey of integration policies in 38 developed countries.
Portugal, however, has fewer immigrants than most EU countries. It’s more of an exporter of people — over a fifth of its population live abroad, the highest rate in the EU after Malta.
Foreign-born residents make up 8.2 percent of Portugal’s population according to the EU statistics agency Eurostat. That compares to around 12 percent in Germany, France and Britain, and over 15 percent in Belgium, Austria or Sweden.
Integration has been eased because most immigrants hail from Portuguese-speaking nations like Brazil, Cape Verde or Angola that share a cultural affinity with their new home, or other European countries led by Ukraine and Romania.
There are fewer than 4,000 from Middle Eastern or North African countries, according to latest official figures from the Portuguese immigration service.

Rational choice

Portuguese officials acknowledge concern that a sudden influx of newcomers with  unfamiliar origins could upset the broad pro-refugee consensus, but they feel that’s a risk worth taking given the stakes.
Lisbon’s biggest concern is the refugee crisis’ potential to wreck the Schengen pact on free cross-border travel within the EU, or even to inflict irreparable damage on the union itself.
“If every country treats the refugee problem as a problem for its neighbor, Schengen is finished,” cautions Santos Silva. “That would have devastating effects for the European economy and for European integration.”
Although his minority administration governs with permission of leftists who are lukewarm or hostile to the EU, Costa is an avowed euro-enthusiast.
Like the center-right opposition, the government views EU open borders as essential for an economy heavily dependent on European investment, exports to other EU countries and remittances sent home from workers in the north.
By welcoming refugees, Costa hopes to do his bit to rebuild tattered European unity.
First he needs to attract refugees with their sights set on Germany, Sweden or other countries reputed for generous welcomes and where many have friends and families. The government acknowledges the difficulties in persuading them to head instead for a faraway country with little renown as a land of economic opportunity.
“Refugees are citizens with rights … they cannot be obliged to establish themselves in one or another country,” says Santos Silva. He’s hopeful, however, that once EU countries “all assume their responsibilities” to open up, the refugees will choose their destinations in a more rational way.”
They might be tempted by a pilot program to settle refugee families in rural central Portugal that’s receiving international attention — including from the U.N. refugee agency — as a possible model for others to follow.
“They are happy here,” says Nataliya Bekh, coordinator of the project that placed 20 refugees from Syria and Sudan in the historic fortress town of Penela last November.
“Their children are safe. They are learning Portuguese. Now we’re looking to find them jobs.”
She says the foundation she works with is ready to receive 200 more. “I’m using my experience as an immigrant to help these people,” explains Bekh, who arrived from Ukraine in 2003.
“Portugal is a very welcoming country,” she said in a telephone interview. “When we came here, people were so kind to us.”
She puts that down to Portugal’s emigration experience. “We asked people why they were so kind to us, and they’d say it’s in the hope their relatives living abroad would also be treated kindly.”

Originally placed here: http://www.politico.eu/article/portugal-to-syrians-come-west-refugee-crisis-portuguese-prime-ministerantonio-costa/


Interessant artikel? Deel het eens met uw netwerk en help mee met het verspreiden van de bekendheid van dit blog. Er staan wellicht nog meer artikelen op dit weblog die u zullen boeien. Kijk gerust eens rond. Zelf graag wat willen plaatsen? Mail dan webmaster@vreemdelingenrecht.com In verband met geldwolven die denken geld te kunnen claimen op krantenartikelen die op een blog als deze worden geplaatst maar na meestal een dag voor de krantenlezers aan leeswaardigheid hebben ingeboet terwijl wij vreemdelingenrecht specialisten ze soms wel nog jaren gebruiken om er een kopie van te maken voor een zaak ga ik over tot het plaatsen van alleen het eerste stukje. Ja ik weet het: de kans dat u doorklikt is geringer dan wanneer het hele artikel hier staat en een kopie van het orgineel maken handig kan zijn voor uw zaak. Wilt u zelf wat overnemen van dit weblog. Dat mag. Zet er alleen even een link bij naar het desbetreffende artikel zodat mensen niet alleen dat wat u knipt en plakt kunnen lezen maar dat ook kunnen doen in de context.


Subscribe to Vreemdelingenrecht.com blog by Email

Geen opmerkingen:

Recente berichten


en meer

Vreemdelingenrecht.com blog Headline Animator

Lekker gemakkelijk: Neem een e-mail abonnement op deze blog

Leuk dat u vandaag deze weblog leest! Wist u dat u zich kan aanmelden voor een e-mail abonnement? Wanneer ik dan nieuwe berichten plaats krijgt u hooguit eens per dag een mailtje met een overzicht van de nieuwe berichten. Die berichten kunnen gaan over wat er in de krant staat over asielzoekers, migranten of politieke strubbelingen over het vreemdelingenbeleid, maar het kunnen ook interessante uitspraken van de rechtbank of de Raad van State betreffen of nieuw beleid van meneer Teeven. Een abonnement kost u niets. Het enige wat u hoeft te doen is op onderstaande link te klikken en later er om te denken dat u uw wens bevestigt (u krijgt hiervoor een engelstalig mailtje van feedburner dus let op uw spamfilter!!!!)

Subscribe to Vreemdelingenrecht.com blog by Email

Vreemdelingenrecht.com blog Headline Animator