A staggering 16,000 migrants have been relocated across the EU
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship, said despite some nations not accepting their quotas of migrants, a staggering sum had been taken out of the southern European states.
Mr Avramopoulos said: "We have already relocated more than 16,000 so far in total, of which more than 2,400 in the last reporting period.
Dimitris Avramopoulos is the EU's commissioner for migration, home affairs and citizenship
"With this, member states, even though not all of them are participating, have set a new record on relocation.”
The EU chief added Greece and Italy were already housing 14,000 and 3,500 migrants respectively.
It was imperative to meet the September deadline, as agreed in 2015, to relocate 160,000 migrants across the EU within two years, Mr Avramopoulos said.
Migrant crisis: Key locations before and after
Tue, April 4, 2017
In these composite images, a comparison has been made between a scene at a key location during the height of the 2015 migrant crisis last year and the view there now
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Aid workers help migrants up the shore after making the crossing from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos on November 16, 2015 in Sikaminias, Greece
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The EU chief said more than 13,000 refugees were relocated from Italy and Greece to other Brussels states in March.
An estimated 32,000 migrants had crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get into Europe since the beginning of 2017, the International Organisation for Migration has claimed.
Hungary is one of the EU nations which has refused to take in its quota of migrants, as decided upon by the bloc.
Europe has struggled to cope with migrants entering the continent from the Mediterranean Sea
Prime minister Viktor Orban has built fences and bolstered security around his country’s borders in defiance against Brussels.
Austria has begged to pull out of the EU’s refugee quota after accepting around 90,000 migrants in 2015.
The country’s chancellor, Christian Kern, sent a letter to the European Commission last month asking for his country to be exempt from the reallocation scheme.
However Jean-Claude Juncker wrote back “I expect hereby that Austria will fulfil its legal commitments and start the process of relocation both from Italy and Greece” but that he would be willing to “assist the Austrian authorities in fulfilling their obligations step by step”.