As EU changes asylum system, Lithuania continues disapproval of migrant quotas

Refugees
Foto: AP / Scanpix

As the European Union (EU) is preparing to revise the asylum system, Lithuania remains in the club of the organization's Eastern members that are against automatic distribution of refugees among member-states.

Lithuania's Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas who attended an informal meeting of his EU colleagues in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Thursday says that member-states should be free to decide on taking in migrants, if the community would again have to divide the burden in case of a crisis.

"Lithuania sticks to its position that there should be no automation and that member-states should decide voluntarily on the refugees they receive in the spirit of solidarity," Misiųnas told BNS via his spokesman Karolis Vaitkevičius.

The Lithuanian minister spoke amid concerns heightened among EU officials about possible increase of immigrant flows in the continent.

At the Sofia meeting, the European Council's Bulgarian presidency made proposals on ways to match approaches to the refugee quoates, however, none of them have been specified.

Nevertheless, stances held by EU's Western and Eastern countries remain different.

Lithuania has committed itself to receiving 1,105 refugees, however, has relocated 468 persons by now, and many of them have already left for wealthier Western European countries.

Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė attending the World Economic Forum in Davos says that this proved the migrant quota system as inefficient.

"This means that we need to come up with more creative solutions, however, these have to be global solutions and they should be agreed upon on the global scale, as Europe alone cannot absorb every single refugee," the president told the Euractiv news portal.

Source: BNS
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