The European Commission (EC) has proposed that Lithuania should accept 780 refugees, in addition to the number agreed upon previously, who are currently in Hungary, Greece and Italy, diplomatic sources told BNS on Wednesday.
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The proposal is that 351 people from Hungary, 328 from Greece and 101 from Italy be resettled to Lithuania. They are mainly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

Lithuania has already committed itself to receiving 325 refugees.

Under the new plan, member-states will have to resettle 160,000 people. Brussels earlier proposed to distribute 40,000 asylum-seekers, however, countries only agreed on just over 32,000.

The European Commission has pledged to earmark 780 million euros to support the scheme, with member-states receiving 6,000 euros for every individual, the sources told BNS.

Brussels suggests that a country, which is unable to participate in the resettlement mechanism due to some extraordinary circumstances, would have to pay a certain amount of money to the EU budget, depending on the size of its economy.

In addition to the one-time scheme, the commission has also proposed a new permanent mechanism for future distribution of refugees. According to the mechanism, Brussels would be entitled to decide when a crisis hits and determine the number of persons that need to be resettled. Diplomats expect that the latest proposal from Brussels would draw more opposition from member-states.

Lithuanian president: We can do it

The European Commission's proposal that Lithuania should accept over 1,000 refugees is in line with the country's potential, President Dalia Grybauskaitė stated on Wednesday.

"It is an optimal number Lithuania is capable of accepting over two years," Grybauskaitė told journalists at the parliament in comment to the Brussels' latest proposal that Lithuania should receive 1,105 asylum seekers from countries like as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

BNS
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