Currently, nine EU member states receive 90 per cent of all refugees entering the European Union. Sweden is fourth on the list, after France, Germany and Italy.
Now, the European Parliament wants to even out the numbers and distribute refugees according to a system which would take into consideration member states’ economic strength and population size.
EU parliament negotiator, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, said that even a wealthy country like Sweden may have difficulty absorbing a large number of refugees. In that case other EU countries should help out.
If the new system is accepted, Sweden would, according the EU Commission’s calculations, reduce its refugee numbers by between 30 and 64 per cent, or up to 28,000 fewer asylum seekers.
The EU commission has previously proposed a voluntary system for sharing responsibility for refugee reception across the EU, but the proposal was declined.
Sweden’s EU Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, said that is unfortunate.
“I wish there was such a political climate, but we have brought up the issue on several occasions and 25 countries are completely opposed to it,” Malmström told Swedish Radio news.
Sweden, too, has opposed the proposal of a refugee distribution system. Minister of Migration, Tobias Billström, believes it would lead to unnecessary tensions between EU member states.
“I am skeptical of this type of easy fixes,” said Billström.