News Employment and Social Policies

Beatriz Artolazabal: "We have planned three types of scenarios for migrants in transit for the summer, for which we have a good Contingency Plan"

2019 June 12


  • "A first premise is not to confuse different realities: you do not have to mix migrants in transit with refugees or homeless, or immigrants who live here"
  • The Basque Institutions, in collaboration with the Euskadi Red Cross, until March 2019, have served 8,662 people
  • "We have worked during the winter, together with the Red Cross, in the forecast of immigrant arrivals for this summer: we are prepared"
  • The celebration in August of the G7 in Biarritz (Lapurdi / Basque Country) could complicate the steps of frontiers.
  • Artolazabal: "Basque society is supportive and based on solid humanistic foundations coinciding with the European model of social rights"

VG 2019 June 12

The Basque Minister Employment and Social Policies, Beatriz Artolazabal, explained this morning, in the Basque Parliament, the content of the Contingency Plan drawn up by the Basque Government to attend to the possible arrival of migrants from Gibraltar to the north of Europe in the coming months of summer anticipating different situations. "We have worked during the winter, together with Red Cross Euskadi, in the forecast of immigrant arrivals this summer and we are read," she said.

The forecasts presented by Minister Artolazabal, focus on three possible situations: "A scenario A -or probable- with arrival flows similar to those of 2018. At the most critical moments the arrival of 250 people in one day could be recorded. A scenario B, or possible, in which flows can be duplicated on time, in the most critical moments the arrival of 500 people in a day could be recorded. And a C scenario, or exceptional, in which at certain times could exceed the figure of 600 people in a single day. A priori, it is unlikely; nevertheless, due to responsibility, it must be contemplated ".

Mrs. Beatriz Artolazabal explained, together with the Deputy Minister Mrs. Lide Amilibia and the director Mr. Ernesto Sainz Lanchares, that the content of the Contingency Plan is agreed with the Euskadi Red Cross, with the three basque Territorial Councils and the Municipalities of Bilbao, Donostia-St Sebastian, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Irun. It has also been shared with the social entities that participate in the Coordination Table.

"It is not possible to make an exact estimate of the number of arrivals expected in 2019. We foresee that the number of arrivals will begin to increase from June, and that the strongest moments can be concentrated between July and October", said Beatriz Artolazabal at the Basque Parliament.

No sensationalism

The objective of this Plan is "to continue to offer an adequate, humane, proportionate, sustainable and supportive response". Beatriz Artolazabal stressed that "in the Basque Country (Euskadi on basque language), last year we managed to weave a good inter-institutional and social collaboration that allowed us all to work together. Here, xenophobic or racist discourses that shake the fear of the migrant are not explicitly stated, although they proliferate in the environment. The one and the other should be taken care of and preserved because it has an incalculable value for coexistence and social cohesion ".

"In the same way, everything that problematizes migration, or the responses to its different expressions or seek sensationalism and yellowing, becomes fertile ground for those who seek to demagogue or extract political or electoral benefit on account of rumours, falsehoods and fears related to migration. The best way to take care of inclusive work is to deepen the frameworks of collaboration between institutions, and between these and social entities" has indicated Minister Artolazabal in the Basque Parliament.

"Doing so allows us to optimize the response we can offer migrants in transit and contributes to the perception of Basque society about the migratory fact is linked to positive and constructive processes. In this area more than in any other, it is necessary to work together based on what unites us, which in this case is the fundamental thing: to offer a human, proportionate, sustainable and supportive response " added Mrs. Artolazabal.


The Basque institutions, in collaboration with the Euskadi Red Cross, until March 2019, have served 8,662 people. 85% men; 13% women and 2% minors. 40% came from Guinea-Conakry; 20%, from Mali; 12%, of Ivory Coast; and 28%, from Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal and Burkina Faso. 90% francophones. 4 Hostels were enabled: in Bilbao, with 88 places; in Donostia-St. Sebastian 30; in Irun 60; and in Vitoria-Gasteiz 55 places. In September, a center for people in a vulnerable situation was set up in Berriz (Bizkaia). In October, a center was opened in Oñati with 100 places for first reception of applicants for international protection and eventually as reinforcement for migrants in situations of vulnerability or transit.


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Politicians attending the event
(XI term 2016 - 2020)
Other guests
  • Ana Oregi, presidenta comisión parlamentaria de Derechos Humanos