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EU Executive Puts Forward New Migrant-Settlement Proposal

The European Commission is proposing that EU member states be obliged to take in asylum seekers from overburdened countries in the bloc or else pay hefty fees.

But the proposal unveiled on May 4 by the EU's executive arm was met with quick opposition from Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, all vocal critics of EU efforts to disperse migrants more equally across the bloc.

The EU's so-called Dublin rules, which compel asylum seekers to register their claim in the first EU member state they reach, broke down last year when more than 1 million migrants reached the continent, with most of them first setting foot in Greece.

Athens was overwhelmed by the arrivals and allowed many of them to continue on toward wealthy, more northern European states such as Germany and Sweden.

This put pressure on countries along the route and led to the reintroduction of border controls within the passport-free Schengen area.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP