Tangiers: No European country can get out of taking in refugees who have the right to asylum, French President Francois Hollande said Sunday, amid a growing row over how to fairly distribute a massive influx of migrants across the continent.
The re-distribution "must involve all European countries -- no one can be exempt or we would no longer belong to the same union built on values and principles," Hollande said during a visit to Morocco, ahead of Wednesday`s EU crisis summit on a contentious proposal to spread 120,000 refugees across member states.
Hollande told a press conference in Tangiers he had instructed his Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to defend the plan for mandatory quotas at a meeting of his counterparts on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday`s full summit of all 28 EU leaders.
"We will ensure that this mechanism is effective regardless of its terms, that commitments can be kept and that it`s not always the same countries who are receiving the refugees," the French leader said.
A number of eastern European countries, notably Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, have rejected the idea of accepting a share of migrants under national quotas that reflect populations and economic strength.