A leftist MEP from Spain has drafted a proposal that, if adopted, would make the redistribution of migrants across EU member states compulsory, something that Central European governments have bitterly opposed in the past.
Spanish MEP Juan Fernando López Aguilar, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) European parliamentary grouping, on Tuesday submitted a draft report of the proposal to the European Parliament, which if passed, would require all 27 member states to receive migrants in the case of an influx.
“The days are over when solidarity is the exception and not the rule. The crisis regulation is about making sure the EU is prepared in the face of unpredictable spikes in irregular migration into the EU and making sure no single country is alone in facing the challenges around any influx,” López Aguilar, who chairs the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), said during a press conference.
López Aguilar, an EU federalist, then continued, arguing that a mandatory redistribution mechanism is needed so that the bloc can more readily set up “humanitarian corridors” and provide “humanitarian visas” to ease the migration process of asylum seekers.
“When it comes to relocation, too often national governments are bending over backward to avoid helping fellow Member,” the Spanish MEP claimed, referring to the conservative Visegrád states who’ve repeatedly rejected migrant resettlement schemes,
“[I want to see] solidarity—preferably binding solidarity through binding redistribution,” he added.
Whether EU federalists like López Aguilar will be able to impose redistribution quotas on the rest of the bloc remains to be seen. However, if the past events give an indication of what’s to come, the prospect of the proposal being adopted seems unlikely.
In 2015, a year which saw more than one million illegal migrants waltz into the European Union unopposed, Central European governments like Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czechia, and Slovakia resolutely blocked efforts by Western leftists, liberals, and centrists to relocate more than one hundred thousand migrants across the bloc.
The anti-quota position taken by these governments in 2015 has remained unchanged to this day.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.