On 22nd September, EU ministers forced through a deal to resettle 120,000 refugees across the continent over the next two years. Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia all voted against the motion, but were overruled. They have consistently opposed compulsory quotas since Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker first proposed them in May.
Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák told viEUws the quotas are “unworkable”, and that most refugees would eventually head to richer West European countries such as Germany anyway. He defended his controversial statement that only Christian refugees will be welcome in his country long-term.
Kaliňák also claimed that just 1 in 5 asylum seekers in Europe is a genuine refugee with the rest coming for economic reasons. When viEUws looked into the Eurostat study Kaliňák cited as the source of his statistics, we uncovered a quite different story. Between April and June 2015, 21% of those seeking asylum came from Syria and over half came from refugee-sending countries including Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) told us that around 90% of migrants arriving in Greece by sea, and 50% of those arriving in Italy are from refugee backgrounds and that since June, the number of Syrians in Europe has increased.
On 11-12 November 2015, will be convened an international summit to discuss migration issues with African and other key countries concerned. What is at stake? Tim Allan, S&D Group Press Officer has the answers.