By Helen Regan
September 9, 2015

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is expected to announce plans Wednesday to tackle the E.U.’s migration crisis as tens of thousands of refugees attempt to make their way to northern Europe each day.

The proposal will see between 120,000 and 160,000 refugees relocated among E.U. countries under a mandatory quota system, reports the BBC. The system will take into account a country’s GDP, unemployment rate and number of asylum applications it has already processed.

Germany, France and Spain would take about 60% of those seeking asylum who are currently in Hungary, Greece and Italy. Countries who refuse to take in refugees could face financial penalties.

Though the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland and Slovakia have previously opposed fixed quotas, the attitude of some countries seems to have softened in recent weeks. On Tuesday, Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said the country would accept more refugees than the 2,000 it first offered to take, the BBC says.

Germany has said it expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year alone and on Tuesday Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the country could accommodate half a million refugees annually over the next several years.

Juncker is also expected to announce plans to help the economies of countries in the Middle East and Africa as well as measures to deter people-smugglers, according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced Wednesday that the country would permanently resettle 12,000 refugees from Syria, on top of its annual humanitarian quota of 13,750 people, reports Associated Press.

“Our focus for these new 12,000 permanent resettlement places will be those people most in need of permanent protection,” Abbott told reporters in the Australian capital, Canberra. “Women, children and families from persecuted minorities who have sought refuge in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey … the most vulnerable of all.”

[BBC]

Write to Helen Regan at helen.regan@timeasia.com.

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