By Julia Zorthian
June 25, 2015

European Union member states will take in 40,000 migrants from the Middle East and Africa currently in Italy and Greece, according to a leaked plan that emerged Thursday.

According to a draft communiqué seen by Reuters, European leaders will enact a two-year plan for volunteer EU countries to temporarily spread a total of 40,000 migrants across multiple nations. The final statement will propose creating criteria to determine which countries will participate and how many refugees each will accept. The document stops short of creating national quotas for each country.

The agreement is intended to alleviate pressure on asylum infrastructures in Greece and Italy that are buckling under the record high volume of migration across the Mediterranean Sea. At least 153,000 people have sought refugee in Europe this year, and almost 2,000 have died making the dangerous trip.

[Reuters]

Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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