Whereas the EU-wide redistribution scheme foresees the arrival of 200 refugees in Estonia in 2016, Italy has been unable to offer the country any viable candidates.
Ruth Annus from the Ministry of Internal Affairs said Italy has so far asked Estonia to accept eight asylum seekers, but has failed to provide information that would allow the authorities to determine if these people are entitled to protection.
Annus stressed that Estonia has not refused to accept these people outright but has asked the Italian authorities to specify their personal details.
“In reality, the situation is that we have been given files that cannot be used to identify these individuals. There are no photos, fingerprints, documents, no interviews have been conducted to give an assessment about their need for international protection,” Annus explained.
The Estonian government agreed to only resettle refugees, up to 550, whose right for asylum has been sufficiently proved.
Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna said out of the agreed 16,000, only 200 asylum seekers have been redistributed within the EU. “EU's readiness to fulfill its decisions is practically non-existent,” he said, adding that although the EU set out to help Italy and Greece, the vast majority of the refugees there have now reached countries like Germany and Sweden.
Editor: M. Oll