EU migrant crisis: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker want “binding” EU quotas for refugees

James Nickerson
Follow James
Merkel supports Junker's plans for a unified response to the refugee crisis (Source: Getty)

The European Commission is planning to impose binding quotas for EU countries to accept a further 160,000 asylum seekers, with President Jean-Claude Juncker warning "the bell tolls".

Speaking in the European Parliament this morning, the EC boss said there must be a “swift, determined and comprehensive” response to the refugee crisis, and that it "has to be done in a compulsory way".

Under the proposals, 60 per cent of refugees now in Italy, Greece and Hungary will be reallocated to Germany, France and Spain.

Read more: Londoners organise a march on Downing Street to urge government to welcome refugees

Last week France and Germany called on the EU to make member countries take obligatory quotas, while yesterday Germany announced it could cope with at least 500,000 new asylum seekers every year in the coming years.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday said there should be “binding” quotas on how many refugees European Union countries take, speaking alongside the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofve.

However, there is still a lack of cohesion in the European Union. Juncker told the Parliament:

We have got to be frank: the bell tolls. Our European Union it is not in a good situation. There is a lack of Europe in the European Union, and lack of union in the EU.

We need more Europe in our asylum policy. We need more union in our refugee policy.

He was heckled during his speech by Ukip MEP Nigel Farage. "You've simply got this wrong," he said, warning that terrorist group Islamic State were "now using this route to put their jihadists on EU soil."

Read more: Germany can pay for incoming migrants without taking on new debt, says finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble

Prime Minister David Cameron announced this week that the UK will take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years.

In May the UK opted out of a scheme to take 40,000 migrants, but Juncker said during the speech "I really hope that this time everyone will be on board. No podiums, no rhetorics – action is what is needed."

Related articles