Europe should close its borders to all but those fleeing death, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on January 13, saying that the Dublin Regulation was not working and neither was the EU’s refugee quota reallocation scheme.
Borissov, speaking during Question Time in the National Assembly, said that borders should be closed, at least until the EU worked out its policy towards the troubled areas from which refugees emanated.
He said that Bulgaria had supported the system of quotas for the reallocation of refugees among EU countries but it was not working. “In Europe there is no position to tell you how and what will happen,” Borissov said, replying to questions by opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Mihail Mikov.
“My position has always been clear, the quotas are not enough. The public position, the position I expressed at the European Council, is that the borders should be immediately closed. Those, who have entered Europe, those who have been settled in different places, others, who will be integrated, and those, who are really escaping death – for those people my answer is yes, but the rest – they should be returned to where they came from,” Borissov told Parliament.
He said that events in recent months had shown that the majority of migrants could not be integrated.
“You see what is happening at the border, those detained are mostly Afghan citizens,” Borissov said, adding that it was very difficult to integrate someone who grew up among the Taliban – and their attitude towards women is different, he said.
“These people are raised in conditions of war. It is difficult to integrate such a person in a democratic country, where even the relationship to women is different to how they were brought up,” he said.
Referring to the issue of refugees registered in Bulgaria as the country of first entry – a key facet of the Dublin Regulation which provides for refugees found in other EU countries to be returned to the country of first registration – Borissov said that to prevent people moving on, “we would have to build a prison”.
“There are many cases in our refugee centres – we detain one and the same people five to seven times, they escape, then they return.”
Borissov said that “several countries have their own interests and they defend them. Several countries have their own interests and they defend them. Some invited them, while others have to pay billions to keep them”.