May 13, 2015 - 18:23 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Commission has unveiled a new blueprint for dealing with the EU's migration crisis, including a controversial plan for national quotas.
The EU aims to bring 20,000 refugees to Europe in the next two years, as part of the plan, at a cost of €50mln.
The Commission is urging EU states to share the burden of processing asylum claims. Italy and Greece, facing a migrant surge, are struggling to cope.
Under EU law the UK, Ireland and Denmark are exempt from the quota plan. There is pressure for tougher EU action to send economic migrants back home.
The EU is considering naval action in the Mediterranean to intercept boats used to traffic migrants from North Africa, with Libya a particular hotspot.
But EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said concrete military measures would have to be decided on Monday by EU foreign and defense ministers.
At a news conference in Brussels, Mogherini called the migration problem in the Mediterranean "unprecedented" and "dramatic".
More than 1,800 migrants have died at sea this year trying to reach Italy - a sharp rise on last year's corresponding figures.
The EU will step up co-operation with officials in war-torn Libya, she said, to curb the flow of migrant boats. More EU experts will also be sent to Agadez in northern Niger, West Africa, which has become a hub for the trafficking of Africans to Europe.