Not at all rattled by the vocal opposition to its schemes, the European Union took the next step on Wednesday, pushing forward with the controversial plan of establishing refugee quotas that will take the pressure off some countries currently flooded by the migrant influx.
According to the EU’s executive Commission, the quota plan is the solution to compel more members of the EU to do their part alongside the countries affected the most, such as Malta, Italy, and Greece.
Last year, more than two-thirds of the EU asylum cases were dealt with by only five nations. Following exemption agreements, Denmark, Ireland and Britain are not forced to participate in the immigration plan.
The scheme has already seen strong opposition, as some countries, such as Slovakia, Hungary and Estonia, have already said a definite “no” when asked about their part in the plan. EU designed the scheme based on population, employment opportunities and GDP when they calculated the highest number of refugees that could be assigned to each country.
British interior minister Theresa May refused to participate in the plan because, she explained, a lot of poor people would expose themselves to dangerous sea crossing and risk their lives before finding refuge in Great Britain.
May released a statement in The Times of London saying the British government does not wish to condone perilous journey or encourage gangs responsible for refugees’ misery to cross into Britain, thus refusing to take part in the obligatory system of relocation.
Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, however, insisted that doing nothing is not the solution in this international crisis, adding that he hopes a careful reconsideration on behalf of the British government will help them find a way to tackle the problem of the migration agenda.
Italy is one of the countries where the quota scheme was approved. The interior minister, Angelino Alfano gave a statement on RAI radio saying that mandatory quotas for refugees could take down the Dublin ‘wall’; he was referring to the so-called Dublin system of regulations set by EU that stipulate asylum-seekers are the responsibility of the first country they arrive in.
Malta is another country welcoming the scheme, as the EU is planning on developing a “temporary distribution mechanism” for the countries that deal with the mass influx of refugees, helping people to relocate in emergency situations.
According to Maltese EU legislator Roberta Metsola, member of the European Parliament on migration, it’s not fair that only some countries should handle the pressure of the refugees, so a more systematic distribution among the EU state members is a proper solution.
In the meantime, Germany has been the number one country in Europe accepting refugees from Syria; Berlin officials are completely supportive of the quota scheme and encourage other governments to do the same.
Image Source: International Business Times