EP Urges EU Countries to Speed up Relocation of Refugees
EU countries must fulfill their obligations to take in asylum seekers from Greece and Italy, giving priority to unaccompanied minors, the European Parliament said in a press release on Thursday.
MEPs condemn that, despite having agreed to move 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy by September 2017, EU member states have relocated just 11% of their total obligations (18,770 persons as of May 16). They find the lack of solidarity and responsibility-sharing disappointing.
In a resolution backed by 398 votes to 134 with 41 abstentions, Parliament urges EU countries to honor their commitments and prioritize the relocation of children without family and of other vulnerable applicants. MEPs point out that “only one single unaccompanied minor was relocated so far”.
MEPs criticize a number of member states for “very restrictive and discriminatory preferences, such as granting relocation only to single mothers or excluding applicants from specific nationalities, such as Eritreans, and applying very extensive security checks”. Most countries still lag far behind their targets. Four have only been relocating on an extremely limited basis and two member states are still not participating at all, they add.
Parliament makes clear that, even if they have not reached their relocation targets by September, EU countries will have to continue transferring eligible applicants.
They also propose extending the relocation scheme until the new Dublin Regulation on asylum is adopted, the press release reads.
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