EU migrant crisis: The European Parliament has approved a relocation plan for 120,000 refugees

Catherine Neilan
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More than 5,000 refugees crossed into Croatia yesterday (Source: Getty)
The European Parliament has approved plans to relocate 120,000 refugees throughout the trading bloc, in a bid to help the countries most under pressure from the millions of displaced people crossing their borders.
An emergency vote was called today after interior ministers rejected the scheme - designed to help "frontline" states Greece, Hungary and Italy, where the majority of refugees from Syria and other troubled states have reached - on Monday.
The plans, put forward by the European Commission were approved by 372 votes to 124, with 54 abstentions, according to AP.
It comes days after Hungary put up a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia and imposed new laws allowing the country's police to arrest anyone caught breaching the fence. Asylum seekers can also be rejected under the new measures.
But this is only forcing thousands of people to find a new route into the EU, with more than 5,000 migrants entering Croatia the day after the wire fence was erected.
The ministers will meet again next Tuesday to discuss the plans, and summit of EU leaders is on the cards. Parliament had to approve the plans but would normally have done so after EU states had backed the plan.
"We are very grateful to the European Parliament for understanding the urgency of this matter," European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans said before the vote in Brussels.
Timmermans said the vote meant that both the Commission and parliament "can say to the Council that the moment to act is now."

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