“We have a proposal to relocate some 40,000 asylum seekers. Syrians and Eritreans will be relocated from Italy and Greece,” Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said at a press briefing on Wednesday, adding that the process could be completed in about two years.
The commissioner added that refugees will be relocated from Italy and Greece, those countries that carry the heaviest immigration pressure. If needed, the mechanism could be implemented in other EU member states, he said.
According to a statement published on the European Commission website, EU member countries accepting refugees on their territory will receive 6,000 euros ($6,540) for each relocated person.
Europe is currently struggling with a spike in undocumented migration, as thousands of migrants fleeing conflicts in North Africa and the Middle East attempt to reach European coasts via the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the United Nations, some 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean in 2015. According to the International Organization for Migration, over 1,800 migrants died at sea over the same period.