Shipwrecked migrants

France opposes introduction of migrant quotas

The tragedy of shipwrecked migrants in the Mediterranean Sea requires a Europe-wide response. Any introduction of quotas for migrant intake, however, would be at odds with French proposals and should have no place in the collective response. According to the latest figures, France is one of only five countries that accommodate 75% of Europe’s asylum-seekers.
As the Prime Minister has clearly stated, France opposes the introduction of migrant quotas, which is "at odds with French proposals". "Asylum is a right granted according to a series of international criteria applied by all EU countries, therefore the number of asylum-seekers cannot be subjected to quotas" since "you are either seeking asylum or you are not".

But Europe needs a policy on asylum-seekers. In France, we have been taking steps towards making our own policy more effective.

"France argues that refugees must be more fairly allocated among Member States":
  • "France is in favour of a solidarity-based mechanism for allocation based on the status of asylum-seekers, which would factor in the contributions of countries to date," Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, stated on 18 May. 
  • "France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Sweden currently accommodate 75% of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe", Manuel Valls notes.
  • France’s contribution in recent years is significant: we have taken in 5,000 Syrian and 4,500 Iraqi refugees since 2012. We will continue to do so in the hope that our efforts will be replicated elsewhere.
  • As well as taking the necessary measures to accommodate asylum-seekers, France is also involved in a number of military initiatives to counteract terrorism and people-trafficking. Our efforts to safeguard our security, as well as the security of African countries and Europe as a whole, must not be forgotten in the allocation of refugees.
  • The Government hopes to dismantle channels of illegal economic immigration and pursue a policy of co-development with the migrants' home countries. It hopes that: "starting with Frontex in Italy, the distinction will be made between asylum-seekers, who can then benefit from this solidarity-based system of allocation, and those who must be returned to the border," Bernard Cazeneuve added. "We have planned discussions with the European Commission – which has retained many of our proposals – to ensure that our ideas are used to implement sound policies."