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EU urges members to do more as report shows slower migrant relocation

Updated: 2016-11-10 09:25

EU urges members to do more as report shows slower migrant relocation

A migrant passes by a French riot policeman guarding next to tents of a dismantled makeshift camp in a street near Stalingrad metro station in Paris after the evacuation of thousands of migrants and their transfer by French authorities to reception centres across the country, France, November 4, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Wednesday adopted its latest progress report on the bloc's emergency relocation and resettlement schemes, urging member states to step up efforts to deliver on their commitments and comply with their obligations.

Assessing actions taken since Sept 28, the report said that an additional 1,157 persons have been resettled with an additional 1,212 relocated during the reporting period.

However, the two figures are smaller than that in the previous reporting period, demonstrating that further efforts are still needed from the bloc's member states to sustain the positive trend reached until now, the report noted.

"After the positive trends we have seen on both relocation and resettlement following summer, now is the moment to sustain them," said Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship.

"I welcome the work done by member states in their collective efforts on relocation and resettlement so far. I would like to see a stable number of pledges, swift procedures and a stable number of relocations every week," the commissioner added.

"After one year into the schemes, we expect member states to step up their efforts to deliver on their commitment and to fully comply with their obligations," he noted.

There are currently around 24,000 migrants eligible for relocation in Greece and around 20,400 eligible for relocation that have arrived in Italy since January 2016.

If relocation efforts are stepped up, it should be possible to relocate all those eligible within the relocating period (until September 2017), said the report.

"More needs to be done, and swiftly, to address the increasing arrivals in Italy and the many thousands stuck in Greece," said Avramopoulos.

The temporary emergency relocation scheme was established in two EU Council decisions in September 2015, in which member states committed to relocating up to 160,000 people from Italy.

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