Tomorrow, the EU’s refugee relocation program expires. Two years ago, the governments of the EU Member States agreed to relocate 160,000 refugees who had arrived in Italy and Greece to other EU countries. To date, only around 30,000 refugees have been relocated to another country.
The president of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, Ska Keller, calls for relocation to continue:
"The relocation of refugees in Europe must continue. The European Commission must not allow the Member States to shirk their shared responsibility. Two years ago, Member States agreed to accept a total of 160,000 refugees from the still overcrowded camps in Italy and Greece. They have to honour this promise. It is shameful that less than a fifth of the refugees were actually relocated within two years.
"Greece and Italy cannot be expected to receive all the asylum seekers alone. The current relocation needs to continues until there is a permanent, solidarity-based distribution system. The European Commission must ensure that all eligible refugees are relocated to other Member States. The Commission cannot allow the lack of solidarity and shared responsibility to continue. They must also continue to bring infringement proceedings against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for boycotting relocation.
"We Greens have long demanded a permanent distribution system. The ongoing reform of the Dublin system offers a historic opportunity. We must use it to ensure there is solidarity in European asylum and refugee policy on a long-term basis. The Member States must overcome the current stalemate in the Council against a permanent relocation system."