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E.U. adopts quota plan for refugees, but not everyones happy
Ministers in the European Union voted Tuesday on a quota deal that will compel member states to take in refugees. But disharmony over the measures may hinder larger agreements that would solve the crisis. - photo by Daniel Bendtsen
Political squabbles over Europes migrant crisis have slowed the continents response, but a surprising agreement Tuesday is setting the stage for quicker action.

European Union ministers in Brussels agreed to a quota deal that will divide 120,000 refugees among its member states. Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary all voted against the deal, but will still be obligated to take people in, according to CNN.

The deal falls far short of addressing the more than 400,000 migrants that have arrived in Europe this year.

"UNHCR said even if the 120,000 resettlement programme was agreed, this was the equivalent of just 20 days' worth of arrivals at the current rate," The Independent reported.

#UNHCR warns that the relocation program alone, at this stage in the European refugee crisis, will not be enough to stabilize the situation.

The U.N. Refugee Agency argues that more processing facilities need to be set up in Italy and Greece, with pledges from member states to take additional refugees from those nations.

The current agreement is ultimately likely to create more division than unity, the BBCs Chris Morris suggests.

It is highly unusual unprecedented, really for a majority vote to be used in a situation like this, which involves basic issues of national sovereignty, he said. It is another sign that this crisis is testing European unity like no other.

The Czech Republic and Slovakia have already indicated they do not accept the measure, and sanctions could be on the table for nations that dont comply.

The Eastern dissent highlights the cultural divide that has polarized the crisis. Eastern nations which make up the eastern perimeter of the EU region and thus have seen more migrants crossing their borders are rife with anti-immigration sentiment. Westerners, meanwhile, have countered with refugees welcome signs that support a more open policy.

In recent weeks, police action on the borders has also fueled disagreements. Crackdowns in Hungary and Austria have harmed the open-border ideal codified in Europes 1985 Schengen Agreement.

Germanys unexpected decision to impose controls along its border with Austria has triggered a series of similar moves, undermining the passport-free Schengen zone to which most EU countries belong, The Economist reported. Each of these decisions is individually rational, but collectively they do nothing to solve the problem.

Though it temporarily closed its borders, Germany has also shown a commitment to take in swaths of migrants and is working quickly to assimilate them, according to The New York Times.

Big employers including Deutsche Post and the automaker Daimler called for an overhaul of German labor laws to let asylum-seekers get to work quickly, the Times reported. (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, who met with industry leaders, announced that Germany would accelerate the asylum process and make it easier for those allowed to stay to enter the workforce. An additional 2 billion euros, or nearly $2.3 billion, will be spent to help people learn German, which is essential for any job.

While continuing scrutiny over the crisis has some opening their borders, other nations are moving in the opposite direction. Croatia closed its border for the first time Tuesday, The Guardian reported, leaving more than 2,000 migrants stuck in no-man's-land on the Croatia-Serbia border.
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