BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have written to EU leaders to press for a “sustainable and binding” mechanism for resettling refugees across all member states, Merkel’s spokesman said on Friday.
Steffen Seibert told a news conference that the letter to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk contained a number of concrete proposals on how Europe can overcome its migrant crisis.
These include the quick establishment of “hotspot” reception centres in Italy and Greece, and a request that the Commission examine whether they should be set up in other European countries.
“The so-called hotspots in Italy and Greece must be up and running as soon as possible, at the latest by the end of the year,” Seibert said, noting that Germany and France were prepared to provide support.
“Closely linked to the establishment of these reception centres is the question of how refugees can be distributed, based on the principle of solidarity, across all member states. We urgently need a sustainable and binding mechanism for the resettlement of these people,” Seibert added.
Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Paul Carrel