Avramopoulos: Refusal by some EU states to take in asylum-seekers ‘unacceptable’

Avramopoulos: Refusal by some EU states to take in asylum-seekers ‘unacceptable’

European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has described as "unacceptable" the refusal by some European Union countries to take some of the weight off fellow member states by taking in asylum seekers.

Such a move would relieve countries such as Greece and Italy which continue to shoulder the burden of Europe's migration crisis, Avramopoulos told Agence France-Presse.

He took the opportunity to call for a revision of the Dublin II regulation which dictates that migrants apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter, generally Italy, Greece or Spain.

Avramopoulos is to meet his EU peers in Sofia on Thursday for talks on how the bloc's asylum regulations can be reformed.

The issue has been resolved for several years chiefly due to the reluctance of some member states to participate in an EU scheme imposing quotas on countries so that asylum seekers are shared across the bloc.

The commissioner said he believed that a compromise can be reached by the end of June.

What Europe needs, he said, is "a common European asylum system."

He added that, although Greece and Italy are at the forefront of the migration influx, there is no guarantee that countries of the former eastern bloc – who have been the most vociferous opponents to quotas – may find themselves in a similar position in the future.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.