The European Union's attempt to relocate asylum-seekers among its member states continues to flounder, as only 435 migrants have been moved from Mediterranean front-line states to other destinations since the launch of a voluntary scheme in June last year.
All the relocations were carried out from Italy and Cyprus, a European Commission spokesperson confirmed to Euronews, with "more transfers in the pipeline."
Promoted by France, the so-called Voluntary Solidarity Mechanism (VSM) is currently backed by 23 countries, including 19 member states, with a goal of 8,000 relocations per year.
"A significant number of pledges were made available, especially by Germany and France," the spokesperson added.
However, the latest numbers clearly show that, seven months after its much-publicised creation, the VSM has been unable to gain enough traction to go anywhere near that annual ambition, despite a surge in asylum applications that has brought back migration to the very top of the EU's political agenda.