The European Union (EU) was moving in a pace lagging way behind the target it set to relocate migrants in overburdened Greece and Italy to other member states, a report adopted by the European Commission on Wednesday revealed.
There were additional 3,813 relocations taking place since Dec. 8, 2016, bringing the total number of relocations to 11,966 so far, according to the ninth progress report on the EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes.
Praising “the overall positive trend,” the report noted that December saw the highest monthly number so far (1,926). However, it still didn’t reach the monthly target set by the Commission of 1,000 relocations from Italy and 2,000 from Greece.
“For our efforts to match the scale of the challenge in both the EU frontline member states as well as our neighbourhood, more needs to be done, and faster,” said Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship.
“Relocating all those eligible in Italy and Greece is possible but it takes political will, commitment and perseverance of all Member States to make it happen,” he said, implicitly referring to some Eastern European members which balk at accepting migrants.
EU member states pledged in september 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees from over-burdened Greece and Italy in two years. However, with only seven months to go, they are lagging way behind the target.
The report also showed that EU member states have provided “safe and legal avenues to Europe” for 13,968 people seeking asylum under the EU resettlement scheme since July 2015, when member states agreed to resettle a total of 22,504 asylum-seekers. Enditem