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18 International Protection Applicants in Bulgaria to Be Transferred from Austria

A total of 18 persons registered as applicants for international protection in Bulgaria will be transferred from Austria, the State Agency for Refugees with the Council of Ministers said in a press release on Monday.
The migrants’ transfer has been agreed under the Dublin Regulation, the Agency said, denying media allegations about a “mystery” charter flight from Vienna carrying Afghan and Syrian refugees. “Reports that this is the first batch of thousands agreed for the first year alone are untrue and are intended to whip up tensions in the public about the location where the refugees will be accommodated, as well as to speculate that Bulgarian taxpayers will pay for their upkeep,” the Agency said.
As a EU Member State, Bulgaria has been strictly complying with the obligations arising from the Regulation back since 2007, and during all those years 20% of the transfers applied for have been actually carried out.
A total of 113 protection-seeking migrants were transferred from Austria to Bulgaria in 2023, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said, addressing Parliament during Question Time on Friday. He added that Bulgaria was designated as a competent Member State for a total of 5,731 requests received from Austria for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2023. For the same period, just 194 transfers from Austria to Bulgaria were applied for, and as few as 113 protection seekers were actually transferred.