Romanian president Iohannis rejects EU refugees relocation quota

Romanian president Iohannis rejects EU refugees relocation quota Author: Government of the Republic of Macedonia Licence: All Rights Reserved

BUCHAREST (Romania), September 10 (SeeNews) - Romania will not accept a plan by the European Commission to relocate thousands of refugees to the country under a mandatory quota, president Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday.

"It's about a European solidarity and Romania has declared its solidarity not only in words but also by offering to receive a big for us number of refugees,"  Iohannis told reporters.

"What we do not consider to be a solution is talking about mandatory quotas calculated in a very bureaucratic way, [...] without consulting the member states," he added.

The European Commission said on Wednesday it plans to relocate more than 7,900 refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary to Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Slovenia as part of a strategy to solve the refugee crisis in Europe. The relocation quotes are based on objective and quantifiable criteria including a country's population, gross domestic product, average number of past asylum applications and unemployment rate.

Under the plan, Romania stands to receive a total of 6,351 refugees.

Iohannis, however, said on Monday that the country can receive no more than 1,785 refugees.

So far, Romania has seen very little change in the influx of refugees compared to last year since the country is not a member of the passport-free Schengen zone, he added.

Hundred of thousands asylum-seekers have entered the EU territory over the last weeks, most of them via Romania's western neighbour Hungary, which is a member of the Schengen area.