EU's Oettinger Says Refugee Quota Foes Should Be Outvoted

European Union Digital Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said EU governments that support refugee quotas should break the bloc’s deadlock by outvoting those opposed.

“Each government has in parts of the public and in parts of parliament citizens and elected officials, who don’t see at all that solidarity must be practiced here,” Oettinger, a German who belongs to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk radio. “We must convince those or overrule them, if need be.”

Oettinger suggested that, if quotas are put in place, countries that don’t enforce them should face reprimands by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm. Its proposal calls for country quotas that reflect population as well as the economic and unemployment situation, he said.

German data showed that 413,000 refugees arrived in Europe’s biggest economy this year through August, almost a quarter of them from Syria’s civil war and 100,000 last month alone. Lawmakers in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s bloc have said economic migrants aren’t welcome, signaling political limits in her bloc to the acceptance of as many as 800,000 foreigners this year.