European countries commit to take 300 refugees from Malta and 700 from North Africa

European countries pledged to relocate about 300 people from Malta, and to resettle about 700 people coming from Libya, Commissioner Malmstrom said. The commitment were made at a Pledging Conference on Relocation and Resettlement held in the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs extraordinary Council.

Pledges were reportedly made by Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Denmark, Switzerland, Lichtenstein and Norway.

The UK Government decided not to accept any refugees who had managed to cross the Mediterranean fleeing turmoil in Libya. The Home Secretary said that the UK would not join the“burden sharing” scheme. This has been further confirmed by the deputy PM, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who, in contradiction to his comments detailed in our blog post found here, backed the decision not to open the borders. He said we would instead provide practical support directly in Italy. In a direct comparison, Ireland's Minister of State for Equality Kathleen Lynch said, “We believe it's a very good and worthwhile gesture in the circumstances. There are other countries with far greater resources than us who will be taking less.” A leading example from Ireland who are able to offer help despite their perilous economic position.

More when we have it.