The European Union needed several dozens drowned kids and hundreds of men and women lost in the Mediterranean Sea, several incidents of refugees’ abuse and mistreatment…, it needed to see again and again the footage of young and strong, of old and fragile walking the long marches through the Central Europe, the appalling living conditions in the South..,. it needed several months and weeks to finally put enough pressure to its members states to show the much-praised EU “responsibility and support.”
Under the initiative of the European Commission, Home Affairs Ministers from member states finally decided on Tuesday to relocate 120,000 refugees and offer them protection. the decision was taken by a qualified majority, as Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania voted against the decision to impose quotas.
European Commission Statement following the decision at the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council to relocate 120,000 refugees:
Today, European Home Affairs Ministers have taken an important decision to relocate 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and other Member States directly affected by the refugee crisis, less than 3 weeks after the Commission came forward with its proposal. The Commission welcomes the efforts undertaken by all Member States to reach this result, and salutes in particular the tireless work of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council.
Following this decision, the EU is now in a position to relocate a total of 160,000 people in clear need of international protection in the coming two years. The Commission and the EU agencies will organise together with the Member States the necessary coordination to implement the mechanism on the ground.
The European Commission has been consistently and continuously working for a coordinated European response on the refugees and migration front. Relocation is part of a comprehensive approach to deal with the ongoing refugee crisis. Interior Ministers are now expected to move forward on the other proposals made by the Commission, including the EU List of Safe Countries of Origin and the further reform of the Dublin system, at the next Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8 October. At the same time, the root causes of the refugee crisis must be addressed. That is why tomorrow Heads of State and Government will discuss the immediate priority actions which are necessary to address the instability in our vicinity, and the refugee pressures on neighbouring countries.
The Commission will continue to work in close cooperation with the European Parliament, the Council and the 28 EU Member States, as well as with key third countries such as Serbia and Turkey.
Of course, you can never solve a problem without find a solution for the root of the problem, but this will be decided bu the EU Leaders and not the ministers. While some see no chance for the EU to come even close to address the root of the refugees/migration problems, pessimism rules also over the success of the relocation decision.
“A relocation programme alone, at this stage in the crisis, will not be enough to stabilise the situation,” UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said, calling on the EU to set up reception facilities for tens of thousands of refugees at any one time.
Now some mean Europeans may start calculating: 160,000 refugees : 2 years = 80,000 refugees per year : 28 EU member states – 4 objections (CzR, H, Sl, R) – 1 abstain (FL) = 3,333 refugees per country and per year – 3 (Gr, I, H) = 3,809.52 refugees per country and per year…
But you know: mean people will always find a reason to bitch about. Like, for example, that the EU will need many, many meetings and aaaaaages to set its relocation mechanism and tools and whatever… Interesting is that the EU needed 8 meetings to present and take decisions on migration issues and the whole started on May 13th 2015.
More details on Interior Ministers decision on The Guardian: EU governments push through divisive deal to share 120,000 refugees