Lithuanian president pans EU plan to fine countries refusing to accept refugees

Dalia Grybauskaitė
DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

“The European Commission’s proposed coercive measures do not contribute to the EU unity and to solving the migration crisis. An automatic refugee relocation mechanism will become an open invitation to migrants to come to Europe without restrictions. This will not help protect the EU’s external borders,” Grybauskaitė said in a comment.

“Lithuania will continue to show solidarity with countries affected by the migration crisis, but on a voluntary basis. Neither mandatory quotas nor financial penalties will stop migrant flows,” she said.

The Commission proposed on Wednesday to impose a fine of €250,000 per refugee. It also proposes that when a country at the EU’s external border is overwhelmed, asylum seekers should be distributed among EU member states through an automatic system.

The European Union has agreed to distribute 160,000 refugees among member states over two years. Lithuania has committed to taking in 1,105 refugees. Eleven persons have been relocated to the country so far.

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