European Commission Statement following the decision at the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council to relocate 120,000 refugees
Today, European Home Affairs Ministers have taken an important decision to relocate 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and other Member States directly affected by the refugee crisis, less than 3 weeks after the Commission came forward with its proposal. The Commission welcomes the efforts undertaken by all Member States to reach this result, and salutes in particular the tireless work of the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council.
Following this decision, the EU is now in a position to relocate a total of 160,000 people in clear need of international protection in the coming two years. The Commission and the EU agencies will organise together with the Member States the necessary coordination to implement the mechanism on the ground.
The European Commission has been consistently and continuously working for a coordinated European response on the refugees and migration front. Relocation is part of a comprehensive approach to deal with the ongoing refugee crisis. Interior Ministers are now expected to move forward on the other proposals made by the Commission, including the EU List of Safe Countries of Origin and the further reform of the Dublin system, at the next Justice and Home Affairs Council on 8 October. At the same time, the root causes of the refugee crisis must be addressed. That is why tomorrow Heads of State and Government will discuss the immediate priority actions which are necessary to address the instability in our vicinity, and the refugee pressures on neighbouring countries.
The Commission will continue to work in close cooperation with the European Parliament, the Council and the 28 EU Member States, as well as with key third countries such as Serbia and Turkey.