Q&A: Nuts and bolts of EU migrant plan to help Italy, Greece

May 27, 2015, 7:12 AM
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos speaks during a media co...
European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The EU moved Wednesday to help Italy and Greece manage a massive influx of migrants across the Mediterranean and oblige reluctant EU partners to share the refugee burden. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union moved Wednesday to help Italy and Greece manage a massive influx of migrants across the Mediterranean and oblige reluctant EU partners to share the refugee burden.

The proposals come as the number of desperate migrants seeking better lives in Europe continues to rise, with more than 80,000 landing so far this year. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 1,820 others have died or gone missing on that journey.

Here are some questions and answers about the proposals:

Q: How many refugees are accommodated for under the plans?

A: The EU’s executive commission has suggested that 40,000 Syrians and Eritreans newly arrived in Europe should be relocated away from Italy and Greece over the next two years. A further 20,000 people not currently in Europe and in clear need of international protection would be shared among the 28 EU nations under a resettling scheme.


Q: What does the relocation plan for the 40,000 involve?

A: Syrians and Eritreans arriving in Italy and Greece after April 15, 2015, will be shared among 23 of the other 26 member nations over two years. Under their membership opt-out, Britain, Denmark and Ireland are not obliged to take part. Migrants would be screened within one month and countries would receive 6,000 euros ($6,531) for each person they accept. They could ask for migrants with certain job skills.


Q: Why Syrians and Eritreans?

A: Syrians and Eritreans are currently granted asylum in more than 75 percent of cases. The commission believes this choice will speed up the screening process.


Q: What about the resettlement scheme for the 20,000?

A: This would see people living outside the EU, who are deemed by the U.N refugee agency to need international protection, shared among all 28 EU nations over the next two years. Unlike the relocation plan, it has no basis in EU law and is only a recommendation, which is why Britain, Denmark and Ireland are included. The commission will make a total of 50 million euros available for countries taking part.


Q: What are the criteria for sharing refugees?

A: The commission has used a weighted index based on each country’s gross domestic product, unemployment level and migration efforts already undertaken. Germany, France and Spain would host most relocated refugees. Malta and Cyprus the least.


Q: Are these plans ready to be enforced?

A: No. The emergency proposals must be endorsed by member nations and the European Parliament. Several countries have already rejected the idea of being bound by any kind of refugee quotas. EU interior ministers will discuss the plans at their next meeting in Luxembourg on June 15-16.


Q: Malta has migration challenges. Why doesn’t the plan redistribute refugees arriving there?

A: The number of migrants arriving in Malta has slightly decreased since last year. The commission says it will expand the system to Malta and any other country in need in times of emergency.


Q: Is this the unpopular quota scheme the EU was supposed to propose?

A: No. This is just an emergency relocation plan, but it may be used again in the future during mass movements of migrants. The quota scheme refers to a permanent system the EU plans to propose by the end of the year, which would be automatically triggered in times of high migration.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

A fisherman watches smoke rise after Russian forces launched a missile attack on a military unit in...
Associated Press

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit by drone strike

An explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.
17 days ago
Medical syringes are seen with 'Monkeypox' sign displayed on a screen in the backgound in this illu...
Associated Press

Monkeypox declared a global emergency by UN health agency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.
25 days ago
Chinese paramilitary policemen march in front of the Japanese embassy where the Japanese flag is fl...
Associated Press

Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

TOKYO (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s […]
1 month ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

One scandal too many: British PM Boris Johnson resigns

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]
1 month ago
Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Q&A: Nuts and bolts of EU migrant plan to help Italy, Greece