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Europe's "extraordinary" migrant crisis could allow some countries wiggle room in terms of their budgetary commitments, a senior European Commissioner told CNBC.
Valdis Dombrovskis, the European Commission's Vice President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, told CNBC Thursday that the Commission was examining requests from several European countries for flexibility over their budgets, in light of the migrant crisis and costs involved in resolving it.
"The refugee crisis is not only a huge humanitarian crisis," Dombrovkis told CNBC in Lima, where global leaders are gathered for the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meeting.
"It also has its fiscal implications in the member states which are facing this crisis and currently we're examining the request of several member states who will be the implementing the rules of the stability and growth pact to take into account the effects of the refugee crisis."
"We're looking into this matter and will be coming up with proposals in the coming weeks." He emphasized that the stability and growth pact – fiscal rules (such as budget deficits no greater than 3 percent of GDP) agreed by the 28 members of the European Union – had to "be respected."
He said the pact provided a certain amount of flexibility "in extraordinary circumstances," however, and that the migrant crisis certainly qualified as an extraordinary situation.
Euro zone countries are due to submit their draft budgets to the commission on October 15 and the body has the power to send back the drafts if they do not comply, although several countries, including France, Belgium and Italy, have been given leeway over their deficit targets.
Dombrovkis' comments come after European Union (EU) officials met on Thursday to discuss ways to deal with the thousands of refugees entering the region.
A meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday also agreed to step up the deportation of illegal immigrants - though German representatives said there would be "no pulling up of drawbridges."
Over the last few months there has been a sharp increase in migration to Europe, mainly from Syria in the Middle East. Many thousands of migrants have made their way to Europe by land and by sea.
Over 500,000 migrants (and the number is likely to be conservative) are thought to have reached the EU so far this year, according to EU border agency Frontex.
The influx prompted EU leaders to approve a quota system in September to distribute a total of 160,000 migrants throughout Europe.
The measures, which are controversial for some countries in eastern Europe, are designed to ease the pressure on Greece, Hungary and Italy where migrants have tended to arrive or use as conduits to get to the more prosperous northern European countries.
- By CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter . Follow us on Twitter: @CNBCWorld