French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Saturday the European Union needs a fairer asylum seeker distribution but it should not be done through quotas.
“Asylum seekers need to be distributed among EU states more fairly,” Valls said during his visit to a small town on the Italian border.
France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom host the 75 percent of Europe’s asylum seekers.
Valls said France “had already done a lot” by granting asylum to 5,000 Syrians and 4,500 Iraqi refugees since 2012.
The French PM, however, rejected the idea of imposing immigration quotas to the EU member countries according to their population and welfare to reach a fairer distribution.
"I am against the introduction of quotas for migrants," Valls said.
"Asylum is a right, attributed according to international criteria ... That is why the number of its beneficiaries cannot be subject to quotas, one is an asylum seeker or not."
Earlier this week, Britain's newly elected Conservative government also said they would not back the European Commission’s mandatory immigration quota plan.
While Germany, Italy, and Malta support the idea of the quota system, other EU members, such as Hungary, Slovakia, and Estonia have also rejected the idea.
France proposed stricter border controls to prevent the refugee problem.
"We need to create a European system of border controls," Valls said.
According to the United Nations, about 60,000 people tried to cross the Mediterranean last year.
Amnesty International also says more than 18,000 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea as they have been forced to travel under miserable circumstances.