EU Commission to Unveil Migrant Quota SystemEU | May 13, 2015, Wednesday // 12:05| views
Migrants in Italy. Photo: EPA
EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to propose on Wednesday a mandatory migrant quota system, which will ensure that responsibility for migrants during times of emergency is shared between the member states of the Union.
The number of refugees sent to each country will be determined on the basis of a “redistribution key”, which will be based on a country's GDP, population size, unemployment rate and number of asylum seekers in the past.
The introduction of the quota system was necessitated following a series of deadly incidents in which thousands of migrants from North Africa drowned after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe on overcrowded and unsafe vessels.
According to the latest figures of Eurostat, which were released on Tuesday, the EU granted protection status to 185 000 asylum seekers in 2014, which was an increase of almost 50 % compared to 2013.
Although Europe is experiencing increased migratory pressure, certain member states oppose the introduction of a non-voluntary quota system, EurActiv reports.
The UK is firmly opposed to participating in the quota system for resettlement of refugees across the EU and will instead focus on tackling traffickers.
The UK and Ireland have the right to opt out from certain policy areas under the EU treaties, so they will have the opportunity to decide whether to participate in the quotas or not, while Denmark has an opt-out right to not participate at all on this issue.
These opt-outs are making it difficult for the European Commission to impose binding quotas on the remaining member states.
Following further talks on Tuesday, officials still have not reached an agreement before the scheduled meeting of the EU Commissioners on Wednesday, when they are expected to formally sign the new migration policy.