Romania wants voluntary migrant quotas: Foreign minister

Bucharest, Sep 9 (IANS) Romania prefers voluntary immigrant quotas instead of mandatory ones, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu declared on Wednesday.

According to Aurescu, any proposition or figures put forward by the European Commission with regard to refugees will be subject to an inter-institutional analysis in Romania and negotiations between the EU member states, Xinhua reported.

“The position announced by both the prime minister and the president is of preferring a system of voluntary, not mandatory quotas,” Aurescu said.

“The migration issue is very sensitive. It’s a complicated file impacting the capability of member states to focus on other matters,” said the foreign minister, adding “Romania’s accession to the Schengen area will only strengthen this area and the security of the whole European space.”

Aurescu said European solidarity should work both ways and member countries should have both rights and obligations.

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on Tuesday that Romania does not agree with mandatory quotas of migrants and can receive right now a number of 1,780 refugees. Prime Minister Victor Ponta also stressed that “this is the number we can manage.”

Romania has a reception capacity of some 1,700 refugees in six centres, of which about 200 places are already occupied, the prime minister added.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the European Commission, Romania should take in 4,646 of the 120,000 new refugees in Italy, Greece and Hungary.

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