Court: EU states must take in refugees

07 September, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel

The EU's highest court on Wednesday rejected Hungary and Slovakia's objections to a European-wide migration relocation scheme, laying bare an east-west split among EU member states.

In related news, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff, Janos Lazar, said on 31 August that Budapest is asking Brussels for $400 million for expenses related to border protection, which include a fence on its Serbian border finished in April, POLITICO writes.

The EU's top court on Wednesday dismissed a challenge by Slovakia and Hungary over the bloc's mandatory refugee quota program, an issue that has divided eastern European states from other members.

"We will continue to work on having solidarity expressed in different ways other than forcing [on us] migrants from other countries that don't want to be here anyway", he said.

"Few E.U. member states have actually met their relocation quota, and most were just a lot more passive about it", she said.

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.

According to the ECJ, Poland intervened on Hungary's behalf in the court battle.

"Our stance towards the quotas has not changed", Fico said.

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"The Council of the European Union adopted a decision in order to help Italy and Greece deal with the massive inflow of migrants", the court said in a statement Wednesday.

Hungary and Slovakia, along with the Czech Republic and Romania, had opposed the 2015 decision, taken by the Council of the European Union.

Only 24,000 of 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy have been transferred to other states under the EU's refugee burden sharing policy. Under the quota mechanism it should have accepted 652 people from Greece and 250 from Italy.

Szijjarto said that the court decision puts at risk Europe's security and future.

The European Commission has already launched an "infringement procedure" against the three for failing to take, or not recently accepting, some of the thousands of refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece over the last two years.

She called on European Union nations to "show solidarity with each other, and with asylum seekers who are seeking protection in Europe".

The court's decision could also give a boost to the discussions on the reform of the EU's asylum system, Giulia Lagana, a senior analyst at the Open Society European Policy Institute in Brussels told EUobserver.

Human rights group Amnesty International is welcoming a ruling by the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia on the relocation of asylum-seekers, saying they have been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones".

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