By Serife Cetin
The EU has failed to relocate a target of 160,000 asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy among its member states as part of an ambitious burden-sharing scheme rolled out in 2015.
Although the two-year program ended on Tuesday, only 29,000 people have been relocated while some EU states did not take a single person.
The EU had later revised the target number down to 98,000.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, EU spokeswoman Tove Ernst said the scheme was "successful" under such hard conditions.
Since the plan was initiated, Hungary and Poland have not taken one single asylum seeker while the Czech Republic relocated 12 refugees and Slovakia took 16.
Hungary and Slovakia also appealed against the scheme stating that the plan was "illegal," however, the EU's highest court struck out the countries’ claims, ordering member states to apply the scheme.
Germany, which undertook the biggest burden as part of the plan, relocated 7,852 refugees out of its target allocation of 27,536, while France fulfilled 4,278 out of 19,714.
The lack of cooperation from some EU states particularly annoyed Italy -- one of the countries dramatically affected by the high number of migration since the Syrian crisis began.
Italy’s premier said some EU countries "ignored" the problem, while Sandro Gozi, a lawmaker, said whoever did not accept relocation was breaking the EU's founding principles.