MEPs to call for binding, permanent scheme to distribute asylum seekers in EU
The EP will debate emergency rules to relocate an initial total of 40,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU member states over two years on Tuesday and vote its opinion on them on Wednesday. Plans for a permanent scheme, on which the EP and Council will decide jointly, must be based on "a more substantial contribution to solidarity and responsibility-sharing among member states", MEPs say.
To relieve the significant asylum pressure from Italy and Greece, "but also to act as an important test case with a view to the upcoming legislative proposal on a permanent emergency relocation scheme", the civil liberties committee supports the proposal that "an initial total of 40,000 applicants shall be relocated from Italy and Greece" over two years (24,000 from Italy and 16,000 from Greece).
"A further increase shall be considered, if necessary, to adapt to rapidly changing refugee flows and trends", MEPs add, proposing to make it mandatory for the Commission to evaluate the respective share of persons to be relocated six months after the entry into force of these emergency rules.
EU interior ministers agreed on 20 July, as a first step, to the relocation of 32,256 persons and to update the figures by December with a view to reaching the overall number of 40,000 asylum seekers (table with the distribution of the 32,256 asylum seekers per member state). A further ministers' meeting is scheduled for 14 September.
Note for editors
Parliament is consulted on this temporary emergency relocation mechanism under Article 78(3) of the Treaty. When a permanent relocation system is proposed – which the Commission has said it will do by the end of the year – Parliament will have co-decison power, meaning that it will decide on the permanent scheme on an equal footing with the Council of the EU (member states).
This proposal for a decision concerns the "relocation" scheme for transferring asylum seekers from one EU member state to another, i.e. distributing them within the EU. The 20,000 refugees who are outside the EU and who are to be "resettled" in member states are covered by a separate Commission recommendation.
Debate: Tuesday, 8 September
Vote: Wednesday, 9 September
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