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Refugees crisis
 

EU parliament approves refugees relocation plan

The proposal is to relocate 120,000 refugees around EU member states. Several eastern European countries oppose the plan.

SOURCES Agencies AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 17 SEPTEMBER 2015 16:00 h GMT+1
refugees, children Serbian children playing in a refugee camp.

The European Parliament has backed plans to relocate 120,000 refugees around the EU to help the front line states of Greece, Hungary and Italy, in a move that raised pressure on ministers to adopt the proposals next week.



In an emergency vote called after EU interior ministers failed to back the scheme on Monday, MPs approved the plans by the European Commission by 372 votes to 124 with 54 abstentions.



The ministers are due to meet again on Tuesday to discuss the plans with a possible summit of EU leaders also on the cards. The parliament had to approve the plans but would normally have done so after EU states had validated them.



"We are very grateful to the European Parliament for understanding the urgency of this matter", European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said before the vote in Brussels.



 



"THE MOMENT TO ACT IS NOW"



Mr Timmermans commented the vote meant that both the Commission and parliament "can say to the European Council that the moment to act is now".



He added that the refugee crisis challenges Europe "on a political level, on a humanitarian level and I would even say on a moral level."



"The speed with which the European Parliament is giving its opinion is obviously down to the extreme urgency," a spokesman for the office of parliament head Martin Schulz said.



The Commission praised the parliament for resorting to an emergency procedure to vote in favour of the Brussels plan just a week after it was first unveiled. "The path is now clear for the Council to adopt our proposal," it expressed in a statement.

Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland were the main opponents of compulsory quotas, arguing that they would draw more migrants to Europe and disrupt their societies.


 

 


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