This is correct, according to figures from the European Commission. But it says that the target is no longer 160,000; it’s now committed to relocating up to 100,000 people from Italy and Greece. New proposals might require EU countries to ‘resettle’ the remaining quota of 60,000 people from countries outside the EU instead.
The Migration and Home Affairs department said that 5,651 asylum seekers had been relocated from Italy and Greece to other European countries, as of 27 September.
The EU uses ‘relocate’ to talk about transferring asylum seekers within the EU (and a few other countries like Switzerland), whereas ‘resettlement’ refers to refugees being brought directly from the Middle East.
Relocating asylum seekers within Europe was agreed last year
These are people who have crossed into Europe and applied for asylum, but haven’t had a decision yet. They aren’t eligible to be relocated unless they are citizens of a country from which asylum applications to EU countries are successful at least 75% of the time.
The intention is that EU countries will now be asked to re-settle this number of refugees from Turkey instead. This proposal needs to be signed off by the Council.
The Commission also said that there aren’t enough people of the nationalities eligible to be relocated to fill all the places anyway. It says there are around 30,000 people still in Greece that are eligible, whereas its quota is for over 60,000.
The UK isn’t the only EU country not to participate in the relocation scheme, which has proved controversial in some countries.
The Hungarian government doesn’t want to accept any asylum seekers under the plan, and will shortly hold a referendum on it.
Sweden has been relieved of its obligations to relocate people for the time being, due to the number of asylum seekers the country is already dealing with.
This is separate from efforts to resettle refugees from countries near Syria
The Commission says that “the groundwork needed for making relocation work has been laid and significant progress achieved”.
It’s making better progress on a plan to resettle refugees from countries in the Middle East (as opposed to relocating people already in the EU). Almost 11,000 of a 23,000 target have been resettled, counting those brought over from Turkey under the terms of a separate deal agreed in July to try to discourage people from crossing into Europe by sea.
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