EU plans to propose migrant settlement quotas

European Commission expected to propose a “mandatory migrant quota system” to tackle Mediterranean crisis

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The executive body of the European Commission is expected to propose a “mandatory migrant quota system” to EU member states on Wednesday in the fight against the migrant crisis that has taken the lives of almost 2,000 people crossing the Mediterranean since the start of this year.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will propose the “mandatory migrant quota system” to members of the EU to lay out a legal path for the migrants to seek refuge in other countries rather than making the perilous sea crossing.

European countries have already agreed to patrol in the Mediterranean sea in order to rescue thousands of people taking the deadly voyage from Africa to Europe.

However, there is uncertainty that the proposal may be approved as the UK is strongly against the idea and as the suggestion needs to be agreed upon by all EU states.

A British home office spokesman said, “The UK has a proud history of offering asylum to those who need it most, but we do not believe that a mandatory system of resettlement is the answer.”

“We will oppose any EU Commission proposals to introduce a non-voluntary quota.”

As the UK prepares to oppose the proposal, Germany is welcoming the idea.

On Monday, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that France supports EU’s proposal to evenly distribute refugees and that this will definitely relieve the tension and burden on the commission's southern states.

Quotas would be based on a “redistribution key” around a country’s population size, unemployment rate and number of asylum seekers previously accepted.

The call for proposals of quotas came after more than 1,800 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year.

On April 23, the European Union decided to increase patrols in the Mediterranean Sea against human trafficking, following the deaths of more than 800 migrants on April 20.
According to the European Union, 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year.

TRTWorld and agencies