EU ministers move toward deal on relocation of 120,000 refugees
Germany, Hungary, Austria impose border controls as crisis escalates
Germany might take in 1 million migrants this year, the vice chancellor says
It’s not just migrants fleeing war and chaos in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere who want to put the world’s growing refugee crisis behind them. European nations bearing the brunt of the influx are desperate for it to end as well.
As Germany, Austria and Hungary clamped down on border crossings, European Union interior and justice ministers met Monday in emergency session in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the crisis, EU plans for refugee quotas and how to stem the tide of migrants striving for European destinations.
Leaders announced after the meeting that they had showed a willingness to move toward an agreement on relocating another 120,000 refugees, on top of plans made in May to relocate 40,000 from Italy and Greece.
“It was too early for a decision to be taken today,” Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, told reporters. “Nonetheless, a large majority of member states have committed to this principle of the additional relocation of a further 120,000 people who deserve international protection as part of these massive migratory flows.”
The European Commission released a statement after the meeting, calling for “more ambition.”
“We need to come to a more fundamental change of the current system to better combine responsibility, solidarity and effective management within a truly European Asylum and Migration Policy,” it read. “The world is watching us. Now is the time for each and every one to take responsibility.”
Here’s the latest on the emergency spreading across Europe:
Germany, which had committed to taking in 800,000 migrants this year, might have to take in 1 million, German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Monday. Some 10,000 are pouring in each day, Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said. Some 16,000 have flooded Munich alone in two days, according to German officials.
With the relentless stream of migrants, Germany is implementing temporary border controls for “security reasons urgently necessary,” the country’s interior minister said.
Officials suspended the region’s normal open borders policy, checking identifications of people in cars coming across the border and making decisions about whether to allow in those with Syrian or Iraqi identifications. Officials also stopped train traffic from Austria for a time as well.
“The goal of this measure is to restrict the present inflow of migrants into Germany and return again to an orderly process upon entry,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Sunday.
Such actions are allowed temporarily under EU law based on “serious threat to public policy or internal security.”