EU calls on to share 160,000 refugees by next week
Sept 9, Paris: As Europe confronts its biggest refugee crisis after World War II, European Union has tabled new proposal to its members on Wednesday calling it a "high time to act" and a "matter of humanity and human dignity".
In an appeal at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, EU Commission President Jeav-Claude Juncker called on the EU nations to agree by next week to share 160,000 refugees in one of the biggest refugee crises that has shaken the continent. Thousands of refugees have crossed the Mediterranean from different countries fleeing war.
Juncker has warned that Greece, Italy and Hungary can no longer cope alone as they have taken in most of the refugees who have come to Europe.
"I don’t want to get despondent, but Europe is not in good shape ... We have collectively committed to resettling over 22,000 people from outside of Europe over the next year, showing solidarity with our neighbours. Of course, this remains too modest in comparison to the Herculean efforts undertaken by Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, who are hosting over four million Syrian refugees," said Juncker in the speech.
"It is time for bold, determined action by the European Union," Juncker told EU lawmakers, noting that some 500,000 migrants have entered Europe this year, many from conflict-torn Syria and Libya.
Speaking strongly in the favour of asylum workers being allowed to work, he proposed binding quotas to relocate 160,000 refugees. "We are proposing a second emergency mechanism to relocate a further 120,000 from Italy, Greece and Hungary (in addition to 40,000 agreed in May). This has to be done in a compulsory way."
"It is a matter of humanity and human dignity," Juncker said. "We are fighting against Islamic State, why are we not ready to accept those who are fleeing Islamic State?" he said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group that has taken over territories in Iraq and Syria. It is high time to act, to manage the refugee crisis, because there is no alternative. No rhetoric. Action is what is needed for the time."