Human rights groups took their call for what they call a ‘fairer’ migration policy this week to the European Parliament.
They were there to lobby MEPs after the death of several thousand migrants in the Mediterranean last week.
Parliamentarians meeting in Strasbourg voted to back a resolution calling for binding quotas that would equally share the number of asylum seekers across the bloc.
European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU’s response to the human tragedy “was immediate but remains inadequate.”
“We should have indicated our collective will to share refugees geographically across the EU. This is something that has to be done,” he said.
EU rules say refugees must be processed on the soil of the member state where they first arrive, clearly piling more pressure on southern European states like Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
EU leaders decided last week to triple the budget of Europe’s border surveillance mission, Triton to nine million euros.
It replaced the Italian naval operation to rescue migrants which stopped last year.