European nations that turn away refugees could be forced to pay roughly $300,000 in fines for each individual rejected, European Union officials are expected to announce Wednesday.
The plan is part of the European Commission’s plan to overhaul its current asylum rules that neared collapse last year after more than a million refugees and migrants flooded across E.U. borders, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.
The reshuffle is aimed at alleviating the strain on frontline nations, including Greece and Italy, that have grappled to absorb the heavy incursion of migrants.
Officials who saw the proposal in advance said the fine would act as a sanction on nations that refuse to adhere to the E.U.’s asylum system. While the exact penalty is still in flux, a diplomat said that it would amount to "hundreds of thousands of euros."
The United Kingdom has the option to opt out of the new program.
The Guardian reported:
Under the latest plans, E.U. countries would still be responsible for housing refugees that arrive on their territory, preserving a key principle of existing asylum rules known as the Dublin regulation. Unlike under Dublin, refugees could be dispersed around the EU via a "corrective fairness mechanism" in the event that countries that are the first arrival point are unable to cope.
The penalties are intended to incentivize nations to abide by the currently failed migrant quotas.
Eastern European nations, including Poland and Hungary, would likely accept the new changes, but the recommended fines would be a hard-hit to their economies, according to the Financial Times.