The Netherlands is disappointed that the EU failed to reach agreement on a fixed quota system for relocating tens of thousands of migrants from Greece and Italy, prime minister Mark Rutte told reporters on Friday.
Instead, EU leaders have agreed a voluntary scheme to spread some 40,000 people, mainly from Syria and Eritrea, who have arrived in southern Europe. It is now a question of waiting to see what the voluntary contributions add up to, Rutte said.
‘What I’ve been hearing does not seem too hopeless. It almost seems reasonable,’ Rutte said. The Netherlands, he said, is prepared to contribute as long as other countries do so.
The deputy director of Dutch refugee organisation Vluchtelingenwerk said the results of the EU discussions are extremely disappointing.
Despite this, Jasper Kuipers told broadcaster Nos he hoped the Netherlands would set a good example and will be able to encourage other EU countries, particularly in eastern Europe, to play their part.
Under the quota plan, the Netherland would have accepted 2,000 refugees from southern Europe.
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