Eleven EU countries have pledged to welcome children from Greek refugee camps. But Norway will not do the same until the promises are realized, State Secretary Hilde Barstad (H) tells Aftenposten.
Høyre, KrF and Venstre made a compromise at the end of May to bring single Moria children to Norway “provided at least eight to ten other countries in Europe realize their own commitment”.
“The government has said that the prerequisite for Norway contributing to relocation is that at least eight to ten countries of the countries that have now expressed their willingness to relocate are actually realizing their promises,” says Barstad.
The wording of the Norwegian compromise is too vague for the EU to include Norway in the list of committed countries.
Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal and Slovenia have all committed to the European Commission to welcome children from Greek refugee camps. In addition, Switzerland and England have taken 12 and 47 children from Greek camps through family reunification, respectively, according to figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
It is due to the experience of the refugee crisis in 2015, when many countries did not follow up on promises to welcome refugees, which has led to the government holding back this time.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today