Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg calls on 'a joint European response' to refugee crisis and says her country will do more

In response to The Independent's campaign calling on all European leaders to pledge greater assistance for refugees

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The Independent Online

The Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has responded to The Independent’s call for EU member states to do more to help in the growing refugee crisis, pledging that “Norway will contribute”.

Signed collectively by leading newspapers from across Europe, Ms Solberg was among those asked to support fair distribution of refugees, make it easier for people to seek asylum without making dangerous journeys and increase financial aid to allow Middle East nations to do more in the region.


Ms Solberg called for a collective effort from across the EU to deal with the crisis, which she described as “our shared commitment”.

“The first thing we must realise is that this situation might persist over a long period, and require a lot of us,” she said. “No European country can set itself on the sidelines in the work of the refugee crisis.”

Norway has been named alongside Germany, Sweden and Austria in recent years as among the European countries doing most to help refugees.

At the same time, disconcerting stories have emerged from the Scandinavian nation that suggest it, like many other nations, is struggling against a resurgence in anti-immigrant sentiment.

Ms Solberg hailed Norway’s contributions towards a fund for refugee facilities on the Greek island of Lesbos, and said her country has “undertaken to accept a significant number of resettled people from Syria until 2017”.

“Norway provides significant humanitarian and development assistance in countries where people are expelled or migrate from,” she said. “This year we have increased our humanitarian assistance to countries in conflict to a record level.”

But she also hinted that Norway was willing to do more, and promised to “consider what contribution” it can offer further. “A joint European response must come – and must come quickly,” she said.

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