Hungary and Slovakia must stick or twist — European Union refugee ruling

07 September, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Hungary Closes Border With Croatia Migrants Flood Into Tiny Slovenia

Avramopoulos said the ECJ's decision is encouraging and that he hoped to reach a final compromise by the end of the year.

Italy is helping Libya's coast guard intercept the boats of human smugglers.

Political pressures have eased with a sharp decline in migrant flows.

The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday to dismiss Slovakian and Hungarian actions against the mandatory quotas for resettlement of refugees.

The EU's refugee relocation scheme is 'proportionate, ' says the court. Poland backed the Hungarian and Slovak complaint.

Hungarian and Polish leaders, in particular, often describe Muslim refugees as potential security threats.

The migrant crisis is getting stronger despite many fences constructed between the countries inside the EU.

European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos had said he regretted how certain member states "continue to show no solidarity and to ignore our repeated calls to participate in this common effort".

Budapest announced at the end of August that it will extend the state of emergency declared past year over the migrant crisis until March 2018, while Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that the "threat of terrorism in Europe has increased", thus justifying increased border controls, according to The Associated Press.

The EU has also refused to pay for a wall Hungary built at its Serbian border, reminding the country of its decision to "reject an offer of concrete solidarity" during the 2015 migrant crisis.

It's not clear what consequences there will be, if any, for member states that refuse to take in migrants. Slovakia has recently agreed to accept a few refugees, so it's not included in that action.

Robert Fico told reporters on Wednesday "we fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice".

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"This absolutely does not change the position of the Polish government with respect to migration policy", she said.

"Politics has raped European law and values", he said. He said "solidarity is not a one-way street".

Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted "the European Court of Justice upheld our case: the redistribution of asylum seekers is compulsory in the #EU".

The court noted the small number of relocations so far is due to factors that the European Union could not have foreseen, including "the lack of co-operation on the part of certain member states".

The measures were legally taken by the EU Council and did not require ratification by individual governments, its news release said. Of those, 19,200 were transferred from Greece and 8,212 from Italy.

He said the slow pace of relocation "draws attention to significant gaps in the EU's response to the biggest refugee crisis on the continent since World War II". Hungary was asked to take 1,294 asylum seekers, Slovakia 802.

A majority of European Union member states decided in September 2015 to relocate 120,000 Syrian and other asylum seekers from overstretched Greece and Italy to most of the other 28 European Union member states.

Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the decision annulled. Slovakia reacted by saying that the sentence should be complied with but that the relocation quotas do not work.

The European Commission has already launched an "infringement procedure" against the three nations for failing to take, or not recently accepting, refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece in the last two years. However, at the moment were allocated only about 25 thousand people.

The program is considered a key part of the EU's migration policy.

Poland intervened in support of Slovakia and Hungary, but the court rejected its challenge which complained about the burden relocation has on its virtually ethnically homogenous population.


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