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EU commissioner issues warning to countries which don't accept refugees

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 22.03.2017 08:12
The European Commission has the tools, the means and the power to impose mandatory quotas for accepting asylum seekers, the EU's migration commissioner said during a visit to Poland on Tuesday.
Dimitris Avramopoulos. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz.Dimitris Avramopoulos. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz.

In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of asylum seekers over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East.

EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 refugees of more than two million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.

However, only 14,000 asylees from refugee camps in countries along the Mediterranean coast have been relocated in the EU. Poland has not yet taken in any refugees – the country had been obliged to accept 6,200.

European migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the European Commission believes “that all member states will respond positively to their commitments, because [the] commitment was undertaken jointly by all the member states”.

“If they do not comply, we will be obliged to take some measures,” he added but declined to say if countries which refused to accept refugees would be fined, as suggested by the commission last year.

Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in October 2015, has said the country cannot accept refugees because of security concerns, suggesting instead a model of “flexible solidarity”, whereby each member state would independently determine what kind of support it could offer to asylum seekers. (vb/pk)

Source: Reuters, IAR

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