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The EC decides in favour of relocating refugees from Greece

On the 22nd of September an urgent meeting has been held by the EU Interior Ministers on the issue of the refugee crisis, in yet another attempt by the Member States to agree to relocate 120,000 refugees. Greece has had a huge incline of migration flows in 2015, most of them refugees fleeing from Syria.

The UNHCR reported that up to August 2015 an estimated number of 124,000 individuals arrived in Greece and during the summer months the Greek islands were overflown with asylum-seekers, especially in the islands of Kos and Lesvos. The unprecedented humanitarian crisis coupled with the restricted ability of the Greek government to address effectively the crisis has led the EC to adopt urgent measures for retrieving solutions.

The European Commission issued a Statement following the vote of the European Parliament in favour of an emergency relocation mechanism on 17th of September 2015. The mechanism proposed by the European Commission will be activated in order to relocate an additional number of 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece, Italy and Hungary.

The European Parliament in Brussels approved the plan with 370 votes in favor, 134 against and 52 abstentions. It is noted that the vote was cast following an emergency procedure (under article 154 of the Regulations), put forward by the President of Parliament Martin Schulz. The adoption of the Commission proposal by the European Parliament paves the way for the adoption by the EU Council. The emergency relocation mechanisms should be adopted by the Council (by qualified majority), in consultation with the European Parliament.