Berlin, 19/12/2013 - , In a press conference in Berlin concluding a 5-day visit to Turkey, Bulgaria and Germany on the Syrian refugee crisis, the Commissioner urged European countries to step up their efforts in providing protection to the more than one million Syrian refugees in Europe. "Turkey sets an example to Europe in the way it provides help to more than two hundred thousand refugees in the camps. Germany, Sweden and Armenia have also taken positive steps, but all other European countries are failing to meet the challenges arising from the biggest refugee crisis in Europe in decades".
The Commissioner recommended in particular that European countries increase the intake of resettled Syrian refugees, give them protection, stop pushing them back, keep their borders open and improve reception conditions.
He also called on Member States to suspend returns of asylum seekers to Bulgaria given the inadequate conditions they face there.