€250,000 / per head. The price for rejecting refugees

RIGONCE, SLOVENIA – OCTOBER 26: Migrants are escorted by police through fields towards a holding camp in the village of Dobova on October 26, 2015 in Rigonce, Slovenia. Thousands of migrants marched across the border between Croatia into Slovenia as authorities intensify their efforts to attempt to cope with Europe’s largest migration of people since World War II. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a new system for enforcing the relocation of migrants around the EU, giving countries that refuse to accept refugees an expensive “pay-to-not-play” option.

The measure, which would set a price of €250,000 per migrant for countries that want to avoid EU-imposed quotas for the resettlement of asylum-seekers, is part of a raft of new proposals aimed at rebooting the EU’s beleaguered strategy for dealing with the migration crisis.

Promising to move “towards a sustainable and fair” system for coping with the crisis, the Commission acted to address criticism of the bloc on three key fronts: that EU countries were failing to share the burden of the influx of migrants; that the bloc’s border control system had broken down; and that the Union had traded its commitment to human rights for a deal with Turkey to stem the flow of refugees.

On the most controversial of those measures, the Commission said it would recommend granting visa free travel to Turks — a linchpin of its deal with Turkey on controlling the flow of refugees into Europe — even though Ankara had not yet met all the criteria the EU normally requires for such a move.

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