The German government is grateful to Lithuania for sharing the burden of refugees coming to Europe, German Ambassador to Lithuania Jutta Schmitz says.
Reichstag in Berlin
© K.Šatūno nuotr.

"The Government of Germany is grateful to Lithuania for being ready to accept refugees coming to Europe. We can only deal with the common refugee inflow challenge by acting together," the ambassador said on Friday by sending written answers to BNS.

"The Lithuanian government is taking an active and constructive part in the resolution of the complex refugee crisis in Europe. The Lithuanian and German governments have the same position on many proposals made by the European Commission. It can also be said about the European principle of solidarity which is, naturally, is prevalent during complicated negotiations," Schmitz said.

Lithuania backed the European Commission's proposal to accept 1,105 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea. All in all, EU member states are asked to share 160,000 refugees who are currently in Hungary, Greece and Italy.

Having supported a one-off proposal, Lithuania, however, is against another European Commission project, backed by Germany, to create a mechanism of mandatory refugee quotas for dealing with future crises. Lithuania wants the principle of voluntarism to be preserved.

The Visegrad countries of Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland are the staunchest opponents to the proposed quota system.

The German ambassador did not comment on these objections, stressing, however, that "now more then ever, we need a wide and bold European migration and asylum policy" and adding that "Germany can only complete this task with its partners within the EU as a European problem needs a European solution backed by all sides."

An emergency EU summit on the refugee crisis will be held next week.

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