Head of the State Agency for Refugees, Mariana Tosheva, disclosed that 590 refugees were repatriated to Bulgaria from various EU nations in 2023. She highlighted the challenge of managing return procedures under the Dublin Regulation, emphasizing the complexity of the migration flow.
Tosheva noted that these individuals had passed through Bulgaria, applied for asylum, and subsequently traveled to Austria. While conditional return is stipulated by the Dublin regulation, implementing the process involves lengthy procedures, including identification and legal appeals, creating difficulties in managing the migrant population.
The necessity of solidarity among countries on the external border was underscored, with Tosheva advocating for a quota system to distribute the refugee burden more evenly. However, she highlighted concerns about overcrowding in Bulgarian refugee centers, particularly in Vrazhdebna and Ovcha Kupel districts, where some facilities are operating beyond capacity and in need of renovation.
Moreover, Tosheva acknowledged criticism regarding the reception conditions in Bulgaria and emphasized the pressing need for improvements, especially in centers catering to unaccompanied children and teenagers.