Migration crisis: European ministers discuss refugee quotas

EU envoys meeting on Sunday evening failed to break the deadlock, with some eastern states still refusing to accept binding quotas of refugees

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European Union (EU) Justice and Home Affairs ministers are gathering on Monday afternoon in Brussels to discuss the migration crisis and set quotas for refugees.

Various EU and U.N. agencies are expected to brief the ministers on the latest migratory flows and the situation on the ground.

The EU Commission has proposed housing 120,000 refugees across the 28 member states, and to set up camps in the three countries facing large flows of refugees – Greece, Italy and Hungary.

That is on top of a May proposal to relocate 40,000 people from Italy and Greece to other EU member states – bringing the total proposed number up to 160,000.

A clear division between EU member states has emerged on the refugee crisis. Four eastern countries – Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia – rejected a proposal for a quotas system to take more refugees.

The meeting comes a day after Germany said it is struggling to cope with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day, and that it had re-imposed border controls.

The EU Commission fixed a distribution criteria, based on a member state’s internal GDP, population size, the unemployment rate, and the number of asylum seekers that arrived in the last six months.

Countries that don’t want or cannot participate with the quotas system have to justify themselves, with the EU Commission reserving the right to reject their arguments.