During an interview with Dutch Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) European Commissioner Frans Timmermans stated that more than half of the refugees traveling to Europe are economic migrants. He believes that a lot of the migrants are traveling from countries that are not effected by war, mostly North African countries.
“It concerns 60 percent of the refugees,” states Timmermans. These are people where you can conclude that they have no real reason to request asylum.” He believes that most of these people are originally from Morocco and Tunisia, who are reaching Europe by traveling through Turkey. Timmermans bases his statements around data collected by Fontex, the European border control agency.
The European Commissioner believes that these “economic refugees” need to be sent back as soon as possible. “In order to keep the support system in place for asylum seekers you must put these people out as soon as possible.”
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk believes that European refugee crisis should solved within the next two months. If the crisis isn’t resolved within this time he believes that European countries will be forced to re-incorporate border controls. This will stop the flow of free traffic between European countries placing a strain on citizens traveling and the transportation industry. Timmermans agrees and supports this plan of action. “If there is no hastened progress made, we will be forced to go back to incorporating internal border controls,” said Timmermans.
Timmermans believes this will have dramatic economical effects. “This can cause for hours, if not days, of delays at European interior borders. This will result in damages for transportation companies.”
Timmermans understands that pulling back the Schengken Area will not result in a solution for the European migration crisis. “If we take the path of the internal border controls, we could be taking a big risk. The economic risk are catastrophic and you don’t know if you will achieve the results your looking for. That less refugees will come in.”
During the interview with the NOS Timmermans touched on the association agreement between the Netherlands and Ukraine. The Netherlands has a referendum planned. He believes that the agreement with Ukraine will have a positive effect on the export market of the Netherlands.
He added that threatening with what can happen in the result of a “no” vote, wont help with a “yes” vote from the Netherlands. Timmermans believes that people need to be able to form their own conclusions. Director of the European Commission, Junker has warned that a “no” vote by the Netherlands can result in a negative backlash.