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Bulgaria to receive EUR 108m for refugee crisis

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Bulgaria to receive EUR 108m for refugee crisis


(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission has fast-tracked requests from the Bulgarian authorities for emergency funding of EUR 108m to help the country manage the influx of refugees on its external borders.

The funding will be used to strengthen the management of migration flows, increase reception capacities and the capacities of the asylum service as well as strengthen border surveillance and border control activities.

"Bulgaria's efforts and commitments to ensure an efficient management of its external EU border are essential", said Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, and the fast-tracking of Bulgarian requests shows that "we are fully committed to providing additional assistance when justified and that Bulgaria, as a frontline Member State guarding our external borders, receives our full support in doing so. This once again proves that the external border of one Member State is the external border of all Member States."

The Commission says it will also proceed with the rapid assessment of further emergency applications received for an additional amount of €52 million.

Financial and operational support has already been provided by the EU. Last week, Frontex, Europe's border control agency, deployed 173 officers in Bulgaria, responding to a request for additional operational support from the Bulgarian authorities.

Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker also announced in his State of the Union address to the European Parliament on 14 September that the Commission – in cooperation with Frontex and EU Member States – is working to ensure an extra 200 extra guards and 50 extra vehicles are deployed at the Bulgarian external borders as of October.

€12 million was awarded in emergency support to Bulgaria in order to respond to the migration crisis in order to provide accommodation, food and medical supplies to migrants and to provide equipment to the Bulgarian border guards.

The additional support is on top of the €91 million allocated for the period 2014-2020 for its national programmes under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF, €18.3 million) and the Internal Security Fund (€72.7 million) to better manage migration and reinforce security.

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