Europe

EU prods members to step up asylum-seeker relocations

  • Convicts build the fence of the second defence line behind the first protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 kms southeast of Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Hungarian government decided to construct a second fence along the border with Serbia to prevent migrants' illegal entry into Hungary last Thursday, Febr. 23. (Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)

    Convicts build the fence of the second defence line behind the first protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 kms southeast of Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Hungarian government decided to construct a second fence along the border with Serbia to prevent migrants' illegal entry into Hungary last Thursday, Febr. 23. (Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Convicts build the fence of the second defence line behind the first protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 kms southeast of Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Hungarian government decided to construct a second fence along the border with Serbia to prevent migrants' illegal entry into Hungary last Thursday, Febr. 23. (Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)

    Convicts build the fence of the second defence line behind the first protective fence on the border between Hungary and Serbia near Kelebia, 178 kms southeast of Budapest, Hungary, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Hungarian government decided to construct a second fence along the border with Serbia to prevent migrants' illegal entry into Hungary last Thursday, Febr. 23. (Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this July 5, 2016 file photo a Hungarian police vehicle patrols by the border fence between Hungary and Serbia near Asotthalom, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP, file)

    FILE - In this July 5, 2016 file photo a Hungarian police vehicle patrols by the border fence between Hungary and Serbia near Asotthalom, Hungary. Hungary has begun building a second fence on its border with Serbia meant to stop migrants and refugees from freely entering the country as a government spokesman confirmed Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP, file)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union is pleading with member countries to step up the relocation of asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, seeking to give new momentum to a plan that has fallen far short of its targets.

EU nations agreed in September 2015 to share 160,000 asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy over two years. But with only a few months left, the EU's executive Commission said Thursday that so far only 13,546 have been relocated.

It said that relocations hit a new monthly record in February, with 1,940 people moved, but that pace is still well below expectations.

The Commission said that if member countries don't step up the pace soon, it "will not hesitate to make use of its powers" against those who don't comply with their obligations.