“The European Commission does not intend to change its policy on the return of refugees to Italy and Greece under the Dublin Treaty and does not consider necessary, at present, to present a new relocation proposal,” European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Monday.
Answering a question tabled by 64 MEPs from six different political groups in the European Parliament , Avramopoulos noted that the first priority is to swiftly relocate all eligible candidates that were in Greece and in Italy on September 26.
“The Commission can’t continue to depend on ad hoc measures. The reform of the Dublin Treaty is the only solution of a structural nature. It is urgent to make progress towards a political agreement on this issue. However, he added, “the Commission recognises that migration pressure on Italy and Greece remains high and has expressed its willingness to continue supporting the member-states that continue to accept refugees relocated from Greece and Italy after the current programmes expire.”
According to figures cited by Avramopoulos, Hungary and Poland have not accepted a single relocation from Greece or Italy since the launch of the programme, while the Czech Republic has not done so in over a year.
The European Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against all three countries for non-compliance of legal obligations on relocation, he said.