Europe Asylum-Seeker Quota Plan Plunged Into Chaos

© AP Photo / Matthias SchraderA group of migrants make their way over a meadow after crossing the border between Austria and Germany in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.
A group of migrants make their way over a meadow after crossing the border between Austria and Germany in Wegscheid near Passau, Germany, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. - Sputnik International
The European Union's controversial quota system to allocate refugees to member states according to a quota system has been rendered unworkable after scores of asylum-seekers refused to travel to their allocated country.

Around 30 Syrians in Greece have refused to travel to Luxembourg, because most of them want to go to Germany. According to The Times of London, diplomats report that there are also problems rounding up migrants to go to Estonia because Italian and Greek authorities are reluctant to force people to go where they do not want to.

"The quotas are not so people can go asylum shopping," one EU diplomat said.

"If you say you are escaping war, you can't refuse to go to Luxembourg. It is making a joke out of the whole quota system."

The quota system hit problems back in June, when EU leaders failed to agree a European Commission plan to relocate 160,000 people according to a quota system. However, the number pales into insignificance compared with the 710,000 refugees, displaced persons and other migrants who have made their way to Europe.

On September 14, the European Council finally adopted the Commission's proposal to relocate 40,000 people from Italy and Greece. This was followed a week later by a decision to relocate 120,000 from Italy, Greece and other member states directly affected by the refugee crisis.

However, the UK and Ireland have exercized their right not to take part in the quota system. And, in its latest report on the relocation progress, the European Commission admits:

"The first relocations of people in clear need of protection have taken place, but much work is still needed to ensure that a substantial flow of several hundreds of relocations per month quickly follows."

The first group of 19 Eritreans flew from Italy to Sweden amid huge publicity in the first of the relocation program. However, this had been intended for 33 Eritreans, but sources said 14 "absconded" the day before and "the remaining people had to be placed under lock and key to stop them disappearing too."

Lack of Staff

Calls for extra staff to be provided by member states to bolster the border agency Frontex and the staff of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) have failed to attract the intended numbers.

The commission admits in its latest report:

"So far, the commitments made by Member States fall far short of the real needs. As of 8 October, only six Member States have responded to the call for contributions for EASO with 81 experts, out of the 374 needed […] six Member States have responded to the call from Frontex with 48 border officials."

Frontex had requested 775 additional border guards, screeners, de-briefers and interpreters.

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