Today, the European Parliament has taken an important step by voting in favour of the Commission's proposal for relocation from Italy, Greece and Hungary of 120,000 people in clear need of international protection.
The Commission welcomes this vote and is particularly grateful to Parliament for its fast reaction, using an emergency procedure to secure a vote in just a week after the proposal was first made.
The path is now clear for the Council to adopt our proposal. We urge Member States to take the necessary decisions at the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 22 September 2015.
At the last Justice and Home Affairs Council, on 14 September, a majority of Member States indicated their willingness to move forward as soon as possible. It is now time for action.
If the Council agrees on the Commission proposals on Tuesday, the Commission stands ready to work with Member States and the relevant European Agencies to relocate refugees immediately, and reduce the pressure on the most affected Member States.
On 13 May 2015, the European Commission presented its European Agenda on Migration, setting out a comprehensive approach for improving the management of migration in all its aspects.
On 27 May 2015, the European Commission already came forward with a first package of implementing measures of the European Agenda on Migration, including relocation and resettlement proposals, and an EU Action plan against migrant smugglers.
On 25-26 June 2015, the European Council agreed to move forward on the proposals made by the European Commission in the European Agenda on Migration, focusing on relocation and resettlement, returns and cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
On 20 July 2015, the Justice and Home Affairs Council agreed to implement the measures as proposed in the European Agenda on Migration, notably to relocate people in clear need of international protection from Italy and Greece over the next two years, starting with 32,256 in a first step, and to resettle 22,504 displaced persons in clear need of international protection from outside the EU.
On 9 September 2015, the Commission proposed a new set of measures, including an emergency relocation mechanism for 120,000 refugees, as well as concrete tools to assist Member States in processing applications, returning economic migrants, and tackling the root causes of the refugee crisis.
On 14 September 2015, Member States adopted the Decision to relocate 40,000 refugees in clear need of international protection from Italy and Greece.