EU interior ministers have approved a controversial plan to relocate 120,000 migrants across the continent over the next two years.
It will see migrants moved from Italy, Greece and Hungary to other EU countries. Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against accepting mandatory quotas. After the vote, Slovakia’s prime minister said he would not accept the new quotas. Finland abstained from the vote. Poland, which had opposed the proposal, voted for it.ll.
The BBC’s Europe correspondent Chris Morris says it is highly unusual for an issue like this – which involves national sovereignty – to be decided by majority vote rather than unanimous decision.
Earlier in the day, the Czech government warned that the plan was unlikely to work, even if it gained approval. The UN refugee agency said the scheme would be insufficient, given the large numbers arriving in Europe. “A relocation programme alone, at this stage in the crisis, will not be enough to stabilise the situation,” , UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said. The number of those needing relocation will probably have to be revised upwards significantly, she said.