European Union court orders Slovakia and Hungary to accept asylum-seekers

Nick Sanchez
September 7, 2017

Slovakia and Hungary did not succeed with their lawsuits against the EU Council over refugee quotas.

The EU was accused of "raping" its own values yesterday after its top court ruled that countries should be forced to accept refugees under a relocation scheme. "That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate", the judges said in their ruling.

While Wednesday's ruling does not have direct consequences on Hungary's and Slovakia's policy, it could increase pressure on eastern and central European member states to take in people from Greece and Italy. However, at the moment were allocated only about 25 thousand people.

Hungary and Poland have refused to accept any of the refugees, while Slovakia has taken in only a few.

The ECJ claims that the European Union is entitled to making such exceptions in the legislative process, saying that the quotas help relieve the considerable pressure on the asylum systems of Italy and Greece.

As Deutsche Welle reports, "Only 24,000. refugees from Greece and Italy have been transferred to other states. Member states must show solidarity with each other, and with asylum seekers who are seeking protection in Europe". The decision is also likely to be welcomed by other countries such as Greece and Sweden, where the sheer volume of new arrivals threatens to overwhelm the system.

The "door is still open" but if Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland "do not change their approach to relocations we will proceed with the last step of the infraction procedure, by referring them to the EU Court of Justice", migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Wednesday.

In Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said his government "fully respects the court's decision" as it wants to remain at the "EU's core" but nevertheless called quotas "politically wrong".

The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the measure, which was then challenged by Hungary and Slovakia later that year. But he said his government still is not happy with the relocation plan, which he and others from Eastern Europe see as being imposed on their countries by non-elected European Union bureaucrats.

Under the emergency scheme, 120,000 relocations were due to take place over two years, ending in September 2017.

Under worldwide and European law, countries are required to grant asylum to people fleeing war or persecution but not those classed as economic migrants, the EU designation for most sub-Saharan Africans.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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