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  ‘Europe could learn from India on migrant crisis’

‘Europe could learn from India on migrant crisis’

PTI | ASIM KAMAL
Published : May 1, 2016, 4:41 am IST
Updated : May 1, 2016, 4:41 am IST

Europe can learn from India in tackling the migrant crisis as the country has experience in dealing with migrants and integrating them, a top Austrian official said.

Europe can learn from India in tackling the migrant crisis as the country has experience in dealing with migrants and integrating them, a top Austrian official said.

As Europe grapples with an unprecedented influx of migrants, there is definitely a strategic partnership between India and the EU, said Herbert Krauss, a top official of Austria’s foreign ministry.

“Though I am not dealing with our bilateral relations, I was just reading through what our embassy wrote about the visit of our foreign minister, and it says there is lot of potential in India. I think India is definitely up and coming so it is definitely one of our important strategic partners, speaking as a European,” he told a group of visiting Indian journalists here on Friday.

“Also, for instance, in the migration issue, because India has experience with migration. I think they had refugees from Bangladesh. So you know how to integrate them, how to deal with them. I think the EU is also tapping into your experience because there is a plan to conclude a common agenda for migration and mobility between India and the EU,” he said, adding it is a good project and will be mutually beneficial.

Mr Krauss asserted that “Europe as a whole” can learn from the Indian experience in dealing with the migrants crisis.

Official sources said the migrant crisis is something about which the EU is “slowly but gradually developing a common line”.

Talking specifically of Austria, sources said that according to experts, nearly 38,000 migrants can be annually integrated without major restructuring of the country’s financial instruments and without disrupting society.

“But in European terms, this does not sound much. The European Union has about 500 million inhabitants. Europe could accept between two and three million refugees in about two or three years and this is not so bad,” the source said, adding that Austria is closely monitoring efforts to integrate the migrants.

Nearly 500 Austrians have gone to fight alongside ISIS in Syria. Seventy of them have returned home and about 40 died.