BRUSSELS, Sept 25 (KUNA) -- European countries have utterly failed to fulfil their commitments to relocate asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy, Amnesty International said in a report published Monday.
The two year period in which asylum-seekers are eligible for the relocation scheme in EU countries comes to a close on 26 September.
"Two years after this scheme was agreed, most EU member states have fundamentally failed refugees and asylum-seekers, shirking their responsibilities and leaving thousands abandoned in Italy and Greece," said Iverna McGowan, Director of the Amnesty International European Institutions Office, in a statement,
She noted that among the worst offenders are Poland and Hungary, both of which have refused to accept a single asylum-seeker from Italy and Greece. Slovakia, which unsuccessfully challenged the relocation scheme in the European Court, has only accepted 16 of the 902 asylum-seekers it was assigned, and the Czech Republic only 12 of 2691.
Spain has fulfilled just 13.7% of its quota, while Belgium has fulfilled 25.6%. The Netherlands has fulfilled 39.6% of the target it committed to, and Portugal 49.1%. Malta is the only EU country that has fulfilled its quota.
Finland has welcomed 1,951 asylum-seekers (or 94% of its legal commitment). Ireland has taken in 459 asylum-seekers, or 76.5% of its legal commitment.
Amnesty International called on European governments to step up their efforts to fulfil their quotas under the relocation scheme.(end)