EU prods members to step up asylum-seeker relocations

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2017 4:12 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is pleading with member countries to step up the relocation of asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, seeking to give new momentum to a plan that has fallen far short of its targets.

EU nations agreed in September 2015 to share 160,000 asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy over two years. But with only a few months left, the EU's executive Commission said Thursday that so far only 13,546 have been relocated.

It said that relocations hit a new monthly record in February, with 1,940 people moved, but that pace is still well below expectations.

The Commission said that if member countries don't step up the pace soon, it "will not hesitate to make use of its powers" against those who don't comply with their obligations.