Justice Sec: No agreement on European refugee re-distribution

Klaas Dijkhoff (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD.nl)Klaas Dijkhoff (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/VVD.nl)

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff denies reports that an agreement was reached regarding the redistribution of all 160 thousand refugees across European Union States. 

Dijkhoff said this in Brussels on Monday, following the meeting with his European counterparts, NU reports. There were two European Commission proposals on the table for the redistribution of a total of 160 thousand refugees. The European Ministers did agree to the voluntary redistribution of 40 thousand refugees, announced before the summer. The proposal to redistribute another 120 thousand refugees with a mandatory quota, proposed last week, received resistance, especially from the Eastern and Central European countries.

"There is no unanimity about the crucial point of the relocation of people. It has been stated that there is a large majority bout the 120 thousand, but not all", the Justice State Secretary said. The European Commission proposal for the mandatory redistribution of 120 thousand refugees did get a sufficient majority, which means that the Eastern European countries' objections could be voted away in October. But until then there will be many consultations, according to Dijkhoff.

The European Ministers did manage to reach a broad consensus on a more effective return of failed asylum seekers, sheltering refugees in their own regions and tackling human traffickers, according to Dijkhoff. "These points weren't up for discussion."

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, also confirmed in a press conference that no agreement was reached on the shelter of 120 thousand refugees. "We have not received the agreement we wanted." Both he and European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans confirmed that the Commission will be sticking to the proposal.