Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug (centre) was in Denmark on Friday to tour a refugee tent camp with Danish counterpart Inger Støjberg (left). Photo: Andreas Bondevik / Justis- og beredskapsdepartem
Norway has offered to take 1,500 asylum seekers over two years as part of the EU’s refugee relocation scheme. The first of those EU asylum seekers are expected to arrive within a month, but Listhaug said on Friday that the Norway would not expand its offer.
“We have set a quota for refugees from the EU. Increasing it is not of current interest,” Listhaug told NTB.
Listhaug said she was open to some of the previously-agreed 1,500 asylum seekers coming from Turkey as part of the EU deal, but stressed that the total sum of 750 this year and 750 the next is not up for negotiation.
“Norway is among the countries that has contributed the most to the relocation programme when measured per capita,” she said.
The EU and Turkey agreed in March to a deal in which the Turks will take migrants and refugees back from the Greek islands in exchange for the EU taking Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.
The first Syrians were flown from Turkey to Europe this week and EU countries have planned for up to 72,000 similar resettlements.
Listhaug was in Denmark on Friday to visit with her Danish counterpart, Inger Støjberg. The two visited a tent camp for asylum seekers in Næstved. Danish parties have pressured Støjberg to copy a proposed Norwegian provision that would allow the denial of all asylum seekers who do not come directly from countries in conflict in emergency situations but Danish press reported on Friday that she had shot down the suggestion.