EU Could Force Reluctant Nations to Take Migrants

Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania vote against plan
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2015 4:23 PM CDT
EU Could Force Reluctant Nations to Take Migrants
Syrian refugees blow bubbles today while resting in a shelter in Austria. EU ministers have voted to reapportion 120,000 refugees amongst member nations.   (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

The European Union may force four countries—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia—to take in migrants from the Middle East and Africa against their will. EU ministers voted today to approve a plan to reapportion 120,000 migrants among member countries based on population and wealth, the New York Times reports. The plan still needs to be ratified by EU leaders, who are meeting tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hungary—concerned about a "Muslim invasion," the Times says—vehemently opposes the plan. “The migrants are not just banging on our door; they are breaking it down,” Hungary's prime minister said yesterday, per Newsweek and Al Jazeera America. “Hungary and the whole of Europe is in danger.”

The plan would only deal with a small portion of the migrants—many of whom are from Syria—arriving in Europe every day. The BBC reports 500,000 migrants have arrived by sea so far, and Germany expects at least 800,000 this year. The Journal calls it the largest influx of migrants since the end of WWII. “What we decided here today is an important building block, but not more,” one German official says. Even countries not legally required to participate—including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Denmark—have agreed to help out. Meanwhile, the Times reports Hungary is strengthening its borders and allowing its army to use tear gas and rubber bullets on migrants. (More migrants stories.)

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