Löfven: We need a permanent, mandatory system for refugees

3:34 min

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven spoke with the press about the refugee crisis before his meeting Tuesday with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We need a permanent, mandatory system" for taking in refugees he said.

Germany and Sweden are the two countries in the EU that have, until now, taken in the most asylum seekers from Syria. Löfven said that the countries combined take in half of all refugees. He underscored that both countries should work to get other EU countries to take more responsibility.

"We need to revise the Dublin Convention," he said. "The EU commission must propose secure, safe, legal ways into the EU."

Löfven outlined a 10-point plan for reforming the avenues by which EU countries take in refugees. These included: instituting an obligatory mechanism for distributing numbers of refugees to EU countries, prioritizing life saving efforts, bringing about an effective and humane way to reinstate refugees in their home country, and increasing the total number of refugees to 100,000 that are taken into the EU.

"Our refugee system was built once to handle the horrors of World War II and could save millions of lives. That's why it should self-evident that Europe steps up," he said.

As regards Sweden's domestic system for taking care of refugees, Löfven said that Sweden should remove the power of municipalities to veto refugee policy. But daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter says that proposal is unlikely to pass a parliamentary vote.