Pressed by the emergency, EU interior ministers have adopted Tuesday a forceps distribution of 120,000 refugees, but at the cost of a fracture with several Eastern European countries still hostile to this mechanism of solidarity between Europeans face unprecedented migration crisis.
“The decision on the relocation of 120,000 people (was) adopted by a large majority of Member States,” announced the Luxembourg presidency on Twitter after a meeting that lasted only three hours.
But the Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec immediately clarified on Twitter, on behalf of the slingers, that his country, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against. Finland, meanwhile, abstained.
“Very soon, we will discover that the king is naked. Common sense lost today! “Lamented Mr. Chovanec.
Several countries, led by France, would have preferred not to have a vote, favoring unanimously. But even if they were able to convince Poland to join their side, their efforts were unsuccessful against other nations fiercely opposed to any idea of binding quotas.
The details of the agreement which are resolved to vote the ministers are not yet known.
According to sources close to the negotiations, the Commission’s initial proposal for the distribution of 120,000 refugees was revised to convince the countries of the East, headwind against any compulsory quota.
The text on which planchaient Tuesday afternoon the ministers and longer referred to the character “binding” of sharing quotas, yet dear to the European Commisison.
But “any text adopted by the Council is inevitably required,” said a European source, explaining that the semantic debate was mostly driven by the fear of some states to set a precedent and open the way to the future, a permanent allocation mechanism, no ceiling on the number of refugees involved.
Other changes: the refugees to “relocate” would come not only from Italy and Greece, the other states taking note of the will of Hungary not to be concerned by the device.
And there would be no “financial compensation” to be paid to States that are not able, temporarily, to welcome their contingent of refugees.
Question of Sovereignty
In response to requests from several European countries concerned about the budgetary implications of the reception of migrants, Brussels could also consider the crisis as an “exceptional circumstance”, paving the way for public deficits overruns, said Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
The EU also seems determined to create a more substantial financial assistance to neighboring countries of Syria (Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon) that host almost four million refugees.
A total of one million asylum applications could be filed in 2015 in the countries of the European Union, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), in an annual report on migration, estimated ” 350 000-450 000 “the number of people who will receive protection, a quarter of them children, according to UNICEF.
For now, while the 28 EU Member States are asked to distribute 120 000 people, migrants are already four times in Europe have rallied since January, according to the High Commission of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The Brussels ministerial meeting followed Wednesday an extraordinary summit of Heads of State or Government, focused particularly on assistance to third countries to stem the flow of asylum seekers, and called a “last chance” by UNHCR.
“Europe has experienced other crises. But then, somehow, it is its reason for being and its very functioning that are involved, “said Tuesday the head of French diplomacy Laurent Fabius said in an interview with several European newspapers.
“If we do not act quickly, the risk of explosion are real and substantial,” he warned.
A crisis far from resolved
On Tuesday, the German railway company Deutsche Bahn announced the suspension of its line Munich-Salzburg-Vienna-Budapest until October 4 because of traffic disruption caused by border controls introduced by the German authorities to regulate the influx of refugees .
Deaf to criticism from his partners and NGOs, Hungary, which saw 225,000 transit migrants since the beginning of the year, is continuing to build a fence on the border with Croatia, where to enter for days dozens thousands of migrants considered undesirable.
At the Croatian-Hungarian border post Beremend, pillars were planted every three meters, pending a fence and barbed wire, like the fence already built on the 175 km border with Serbia .
Tuesday, dozens of soldiers and policemen were waiting Hungarian, posted nearly a dozen cars, refugees arriving from Croatia as before will be transported to the Austrian border.
Overwhelmed by the arrival of more than 35,000 refugees in six days, Croatia closed its border with Serbia. Zoran Milanovic his prime minister urged Belgrade to resume route for migrants to Hungary and also to guide to Romania in order to relieve his country.
“In the short term, the prospects are slim that the situation stabilized significantly in the main countries of origin,” warned the OECD, before assuring that “Europe has the means and experience to meet this crisis. ”