EU to relocate 40 000 immigrants within union

2015-05-26 20:34
Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa receive water as they wait at a detention centre in the Libya’s capital Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Migrants from sub-Saharan Africa receive water as they wait at a detention centre in the Libya’s capital Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - The European Union will seek to shift the migration burden away from Italy and Greece by relocating 40 000 asylum seekers to other EU countries, according to a draft document seen by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The relocation proposal, to be unveiled by the EU's executive Commission on Wednesday, would see new Syrian and Eritrean asylum seekers shared among 23 of the 28 member countries over the next two years. Britain, Denmark and Ireland will not take part.

The move comes as the number of desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean to get to Europe continues to rise, with more than 80 000 landing so far this year. The International Organisation for Migration estimates that 1 820 other migrants have died or gone missing on that journey.

The influx has left countries like Italy, Greece, Malta, Germany and Sweden carrying the biggest burdens.

Under the emergency relocation plan, which would have to be endorsed by member states and the European Parliament, countries "will receive €6 000 for each person relocated on their territories" from EU coffers, according to the document.

Germany would accept the most asylum seekers over the two years - a total of 8 763 - while France would take in 6 752. Spain, which faces migration challenges of its own, would also take a significant share, accepting 4 288 people in need of international protection.

The commission is also set to announce a proposal to resettle 20 000 people from outside the EU who have been identified as being in need of international protection. They would be shared among all 28 member states over the next two years based on a distribution index.

Earlier on Tuesday, the IOM urged the EU to accept far more than 20 000 asylum seekers.

"The 20 000 quota is commendable. We're glad for it," IOM Director General William Lacy Swing told EU lawmakers, but he added that Europe "needs to go much, much further".

Swing said the "drivers of migration are such that large-scale migration is going to remain a mega-trend of our century."

He said the 20 000 migrant figure should serve as a starting point to "try to build a level of confidence" to go further.

Read more on:    eu

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.