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EC calls on Member States, Romania included, to meet obligations under the EU’s emergency relocation and resettlement schemes

The European Commission has mentioned Romania on Tuesday among the Member States requested to intensify the pace of receiving the refugees, according to the quotes set in September 2015. It mentions that Romania is ready to take over refugees from Turkey, on the basis of the agreement signed by the EU with Ankara.

The Commission adopted its twelfth progress report on the EU’s emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, assessing actions taken since 12 April 2017. As a result of the increased efforts of Member States, the number of persons relocated so far in 2017 is almost as many as in the whole of 2016. The total number of relocations now stands at 18,418, proving that relocation works if there is the will to abide by what was agreed together in a spirit of sincere cooperation.

According to the Council for Justice and Home Affairs in September 2015, some 160,000 refugees should be relocated in two years time.

The EC recommendations are also addressed to encourage a more effective implementation of the Council decisions in other Member States:

  • Bulgaria and Slovakia should show more flexibility as regards their preferences and should start relocating from Italy as soon as possible;
  • Ireland and Estonia, in cooperation with Italy, should find mutually acceptable solutions on additional security interviews in order for relocations to start as soon as possible;
  • A number of Member States should increase their monthly pledges (Spain, Belgium and Croatia for both Italy and Greece; Germany, Romania and Slovakia for Greece and France for Italy) while Cyprus should start pledging again for Italy and relocating as soon as possible;
  • Relocating Member States as a whole should increase their capacity to process application requests, avoid overly restrictive preferences and delays and limit requirements causing delays in the transfer procedure and give priority to applications concerning vulnerable applicants, in particular unaccompanied minors;
  • In addition, Italy should urgently speed up the procedures to identify and register all eligible applicants as soon as possible and ensure that those eligible for relocation arriving in Italy are channelled in an orderly manner to specifically designated relocation hubs. For this purpose, the Commission recently provided EUR 15.33 million in emergency assistance to improve the functioning of the relocation scheme in Italy.

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