The Transit Center for Refugees in Bulgaria settled its first residents a day after the official opening on May 3, 2012
The first Transit Center for Refugees in Bulgaria was officially opened on May 3, 2012 in the village of Pastrogor, Svilengrad Municipality. This is a big step ahead for Bulgaria in the field of international protection and national security.
With the opening of the Center Bulgaria carries out its commitments in accession to Schengen. We prove our goal to cover the best standards of international protection established by European legislation, said at the opening ceremony Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, Mr. Tsvetan Tsvetanov.
Transit Center in Pastrogor is crucial for both asylum seekers and national security. The event is yet another proof that Bulgaria is actively involved in the common asylum policy, was the statement of the President of the State Agency for Refugees /SAR/, Mr. Nikola Kazakov.
On May 4, 2012 the Center welcomed its first residents. 12 foreign citizens, seeking asylum, 11 men and a woman, were derived from the Special hostel for temporary accommodation of foreigners in the village of Lyubimets /unit of Migration Directorate with the Ministry of Interior/ and accomodated in the territorial division of the SAR. The majority of the foreigners are Iraqi civilians. Next Tuesday another group of 11 persons is expected from Lyubimets.
TC Pastrogor was built with funds under PHARE program and from the State budget. It is situated near the Bulgarian border with Turkey where is focused the main inflow of foreigners. The Center is the territorial unit of SAR for registration, accommodation, medical checks, conducting procedure for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for protection and accelerated procedures for aliens seeking asylum. The center is not a place for providing protection, but to examine the merits of applications.
TC Pastrogor has a capacity of 300 people accommodated in rooms with 6 beds. The rooms are spacious, equipped with wardrobes, tables and chairs. The building has a common laundry room with 10 washing machines and laundry dryers, kitchen and general medical office. There is more multifunctional and equipped rooms with separate areas for recreation and entertainment, information center, internet club, a club of woman, children room and library. In the courtyard are built sports court and playground facilities.