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Finland Accepts EU Migrant Quota, Objects Compulsion

© AP Photo / Martin LehmannMigrants walk north on the highway in Southern Denmark, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
Migrants walk north on the highway in Southern Denmark, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Finnish government officials said that Helsinki will accept the European Commission's migrant resettlement proposals but objects to making the quota system compulsory.

Refugees and migrants arrive on a beach on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 9, 2015. - Sputnik International
Over 22,000 Migrants Registered on Greece's Lesbos Island
MOSCOW (Sputnik) Helsinki will accept the European Commission's migrant resettlement proposals but objects to making the quota system compulsory, Finnish government officials said at a press conference Friday.

"Our proposal is therefore that we can move forward on a voluntary basis, but we cannot proceed under compulsion," Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini was quoted as saying by the Yle national broadcaster.

The outlet cited Interior Minister Petteri Orpo as confirming Prime Minister Juha Sipila's view that each European Union member state should decide the number of asylum seekers it is willing to accept on its own.

On Thursday, the European Parliament backed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's proposal to relocate a total of 160,000 refugees throughout EU member states over two years. According to Juncker, Europe must accept the migrants "in a compulsory way."

Finland has been asked to accept a total of 2,398 – or 2 percent of the total to be relocated to the other 27 EU members – migrants currently in Greece, Italy and Hungary.

Denmark’s ruling Venstre Party voiced the most vehement opposition to the redistribution system. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis also expressed his dissatisfaction with the "very bureaucratic" proposal.

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajack labeled the EU approach too administrative, pledging to discuss the issue with the German, Czech, Polish and Hungarian foreign ministers on Friday.

The quota system seeks to resettle migrants among the bloc's 28 members based on their population, total gross domestic product, average number of asylum applications and ratio of refugees to one million inhabitants, as well as unemployment rate.

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