“European Union ministers have approved a plan to relocate 120,000 migrants across Europe”
Meeting in Brussels, European interior ministers voted to adopt a resolution on distributing migrants among EU member states although some countries voted against the scheme.
Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said via Twitter that the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the plan while Finland abstained.
The meeting was the first of two to be held this week to try and resolve the migrant crisis with European leaders being warned that this could be their “last opportunity” to find a solution.
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However, Britain has vowed not to take part in any resettlement scheme, a position the Home Secretary Theresa May reaffirmed before Tuesday’s meeting.
Calling for new measures to deter “illegal economic migrants” from trying to enter the EU, she said: “We also need as Europe to get on with the job of the wider measures that need to be taken, of ensuring that we are breaking the link for economic migrants between making this dangerous journey and settling in Europe.
The UN said the migrant situation is becoming ‘chaotic and unpredictable’ Credit: Reuters
So we need to return those people who are illegal economic migrants and who have no right to be here.
“We need to ensure people arriving at Europe’s borders are being properly dealt with, properly fingerprinted, so that decisions can be made and where they are illegal economic migrants they can be returned.”
Britain has agreed to resettle 20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrian refugees over the next five years but will take them direct from the refugee camps bordering the country.
Ahead of the meetings, the United Nations refugee agency said the situation is becoming “increasingly chaotic and unpredictable” as an average of 6,000 people arrive on European shores every day.
The UNHCR warned that a relocation scheme alone “will not be enough to stabilise the situation”.
Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said: “This may be the last opportunity for a coherent European response to manage a crisis that is increasing suffering and exploitation of refugees and migrants and tension between countries.”
Meanwhile, Croatia has lifted a blockade on cargo traffic entering from Serbia, but only for trucks carrying perishable goods, state radio reported on Tuesday quoting a government statement.
Serbia had threatened to retaliate against Croatia on Tuesday over the ban on cargo traffic since the weekend, as relations between the two ex-Yugoslav republics began to sour over the flow of migrants across their joint border.