Germany and France called for the recalculation of proposed quotas for dispersing political refugees across Europe, in a tussle over sharing the burden of coping with migrants from the Middle East and northern Africa.
The European Union’s two traditional driving forces gave a tacit endorsement to the idea of an emergency two-year relocation of 40,000 refugees, initially from Syria and Eritrea.
An “equitable distribution” is necessary, but this balance “hasn’t yet been attained in the proposal as presented,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday in a joint statement released in Berlin and Paris.
Eastern European governments have complained that they would be flooded with refugees under the proposal, which was intended to relieve Greece and Italy. Britain, Ireland and Denmark would be exempt from the quotas.
The European Commission is “open to a discussion of the criteria,” spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels. EU leaders may discuss the quotas at a June 25-26 summit in Brussels.