Juncker signals about-face amid refugee quota opposition

14 September 2016
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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says solidarity cannot be imposed on EU member countries amid vehement opposition in some states to his refugee quota scheme.

Juncker told EU lawmakers Wednesday that “solidarity must be voluntary, must come from the heart.”

His Commission drew up an obligatory scheme to share 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy and any other overwhelmed country among their EU partners over two years. Slovakia, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, and others have refused to take part. Hungary even launched a legal challenge.

One year on, fewer than 5,000 refugees have been moved.

Despite the about-face, Juncker appealed to EU nations to do their “fair share” and relocate refugees, and resettle others from places like Turkey.

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