MEPs Give Go-Ahead to Relocate 120,000 More Asylum Seekers

An emergency proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers currently in Italy, Greece and Hungary among EU member states was backed by Parliament.

The first temporary emergency rules for relocating an initial 40,000 refugees over twoyears from Italy and Greece were approved by Parliament on September 9.

Parliament’s backing in record time of the European Commission’s proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers sends a clear signal to EU home affairs ministers — who meet again on Tuesday, September 22 — that it is high time to act and finally agree on this second emergency scheme.

Under the Commission's proposal, an additional 120,000 asylum seekers would be relocated from Italy (15,600), Greece (50,400) and Hungary (54,000). This number comes on top of the initial scheme to relocate 40,000 asylum seekers, which was approved by Parliament on September 9 and endorsed by the Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September. The total number of people to be relocated is thus 160,000.

Parliament backed the Commission's proposal (without amending it) by 370 votes to 134, with 52 abstentions. It then approved a legislative resolution by 372 votes to 124, with 54 abstentions. It also informed the Council that this approval is without prejudice to the position it will subsequently take on the proposal establishing a permanent crisis relocation mechanism, on which Parliament will decide together with the member states.