The head of the European Commission has unveiled a plan for the EU to resettle an additional 120,000 asylum seekers.
Jean-Claude Juncker made his remarks in a speech on the direction of the EU at the European Parliament.
Speaking for more than 70 minutes, Juncker said he wanted to see binding relocation quotas.
“The Commission already proposed an emergency mechanism in May, not now, back in May, to relocate initially 40 000 people seeking international protection, for Italy and Greece,” he told parliamentarians.
“This is why today we are proposing a second emergency mechanism to relocate a further 120000 people from Italy, Greece and Hungary. This has to be done in a compulsory way”.
But asylum policies have long been jealously guarded by EU governments.
It will be a huge challenge to convince leaders of the need for an EU-led solution when anti-immigration parties are on the rise in some European countries, including in Italy.
An MEP from the country’s Northern League party, wearing an Angela Merkel mask, interrupted Juncker’s speech by heckling the former Luxembourg prime minister.