Ministers to address migrant quota row ahead of European Union leaders’ meeting

Eurostat said Hungary processed 3,317 applicants per million inhabitants in the second quarter, more than triple the intake in Germany, with 997 requests per million.


Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had previously reported that in the year to August the country had received a total of 213,302 first-time applications, of which around a quarter were from Syria at 55,587.

After talks on Monday between Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, all of whom oppose quotas, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek insisted the four were still “absolutely dedicated” to finding a solution.

European Union interior ministers will again try to break the deadlock on Tuesday ahead of an emergency summit on Wednesday.

“We can’t host all the people from conflict areas and all poverty refugees who want to come to Europe and to Germany“, de Maiziere told Germany’s Spiegel magazine.

Germany remains the preferred destination for the vast majority of Syrians, Afghans or Iraqis that make the gruelling journey to western Europe, said Gerry Voitik, spokesman for the Austrian Red Cross.

On Sunday Hungary erected a steel gate and fence posts at a border crossing with Croatia, the EU’s newest member state.

Setting up of registration centres at the external borders of the EU will help the authorities to identify those refugees who have a chance for asylum in the EU and to deport the others even before entering the EU, he said.

Home affairs ministers from EU member states will meet on Tuesday 22 September to attempt once more to strike a deal on the European Commission proposal to relocate 120,000 asylum-seekers within the EU, following deadlock last week. Ethnically more homogenous than their Western neighbors, they had far more traumatic experiences with population transfers during and immediately after the Second World War. “Most importantly, asylum seekers are using new and diverse migration routes, which calls for immediate action and support from countries which have limited experience in dealing with such flows”.

A police spokesman said they planned to put the refugees on trains so they could be sent to other parts of Germany.

Currently, EU rules dictate that people fleeing war and persecution must apply for sanctuary in the European country where they land, not the country of their choice.

De Maiziere said the dramatic increase in the number of asylum-seekers in Germany posed a major challenge not only for the states and municipalities but also for BAMF and the agency could cope with the situation through Schmidt’s engagement to provide additional staff and funds for the agency.


Several European Union countries have come under intense pressure in recent months after a huge influx of migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Middle East.

A boy pushes against a police barricade as Syrian migrants march along the highway towards the Turkish Greek border at Edirne