EU governments are doing more to resettle refugees – in line with an agreement between the bloc and Turkey – but “progress is still too slow,” the European Union’s executive said Wednesday.
The number of relocations has increased to 2,280, the Commission said during a presentation of its latest progress report on the EU’s emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, assessing actions taken over the past month, noting that the rate had almost doubled since the previous report on May 18.
“Despite the positive signs, progress is still too slow. Action must be accelerated to avoid migrants returning to irregular routes,” the Commission said.
Progress was welcomed by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“As numbers of arrivals in Greece have gone down, the absolute onus now lies on significantly increasing and speeding up relocations,” Avramopoulos said.
"But we also cannot forget Italy, where the seasonal increase of arrivals is happening. This is a humanitarian obligation,” he added.
Since April 4, 511 Syrians have been resettled from Turkey to the EU, including 330 since the last report, the Commission said.
The number of EU states actively participating in the scheme has also increased.
“Since the last progress report, in addition to Finland, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden, resettlements have now also taken place to Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal,” the Commission said.