EU officials are preparing to pressure the governments of EU member-countries into accepting a much larger number of asylum-seekers from the countries hit by a migrant wave, and Croatia is expected to accept 3,200 migrants, the media reported on Thursday.
After German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande on Thursday supported a plan for taking in refugees which EU leaders had rejected in June, EU officials said that the EU’s executive bodies could propose increasing the figures in the plan four times so as to oblige member-countries to distribute among themselves 160,000 migrants staying in Italy, Greece and Hungary, according to Reuters.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will announce the new proposal on September 9, and his spokesman refused to comment on it. However, senior EU officials said that Juncker, who in May proposed binding quotas for EU countries to distribute among themselves 40,000 asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, was now considering a threefold increase in that number, plus an additional 50,000 migrants from Hungary.
EU leaders have refused the imposition of quotas by Brussels but so far they have agreed only on the distribution of 32,000 of the 40,000 asylum-seekers on a voluntary basis, while the number of migrants who have arrived in Italy, Greece and Hungary has risen to hundreds of thousands.
According to the new EC plan, Croatia should accept 3,200 of a total of 160,000 migrants, according to the on-line edition of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper.
Germany is expected to accept the largest number of migrants, 34,077, followed by France, 26,215, and Spain, with 16,835 migrants.
Slovenia is expected to take in 2,128 migrants, the Daily Mail says.
The quotas for taking in migrants depend on the size of a country’s population, its economic potential, previous refugee integration and employment statistics.
Great Britain, which refused to join in the plan when it was initially presented in May, will not have to accept any refugees despite being one of the biggest and richest EU countries. Ireland and Denmark have not accepted the plan either.
In order to lessen the opposition to accepting migrants among former communist countries in the EU, which say that they are not used to large-scale migrations like their Western European neighbours, an EU official told Reuters those countries could be given the option to pay other countries to accept their migrant quotas.
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has said that his country will not accept a large number of Muslims, describing the distribution quotas as a call to millions of others to risk a journey to Europe. Slovakia, too, has said that it favours Christian refugees.