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EU plans 1.8 billion-euro migrant, border fund for Africa

EU plans to set up 1.8 billion-euro fund to help African nations manage borders

EU plans 1.8 billion-euro migrant, border fund for Africa

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is planning to set up a 1.8 billion euro ($2 billion) fund to help Africa nations better manage their borders and help reduce the number of migrants heading for Europe.

The EU's executive Commission is also expected to publish on Wednesday a list of "safe countries" including Albania and Kosovo, from where thousands of people have fled this year. A safe country endorsement would mean that few asylum applications by people originating from those countries are likely to succeed, as their nationals would be hard pressed to justify violence or persecution against them.

"The aim is to improve stability and address root causes of irregular migration flows," the Commission says of the fund, in a draft text obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The money would focus on northern Africa and Horn of Africa countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Around 100,000 migrants have been rescued so far this year crossing the central Mediterranean from northern Africa.

The draft text says the EU also expects the 28 member states to provide money for the plan.

The full list of "safe countries" is Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

Almost 50,000 people from Kosovo applied for asylum in the EU in the first three months of this year. More than 21,000 did so in Germany, which is welcoming thousands of Syrian refugees.

Thousands of Albanians have also sought asylum in recent months.

The Commission is also set on Wednesday to propose sharing 120,000 people in need of international protection between EU countries, as well as an additional, permanent plan obliging countries to share refugees in times of future emergency.

A large majority of member states would have to accept the plans.

Updated : 2021-09-24 20:58 GMT+08:00