May 23, 2018

Poland-backed refugee quota complaints rejected by top European Union court

07 September 2017, 01:50 | Simon Arnold

August to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit Angelos Tzortzinis Agence France Presse — Getty Ima

August to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit Angelos Tzortzinis  Agence France Presse — Getty Ima

'It is time to be united and show full solidarity, ' Mr Avramopoulos said.

"But we should be clear that member states have to show solidarity now because it is now that some member states need help".

Back in June, dismayed over the failure of some member states to accept asylum-seekers, the European Commission made a decision to send letters of formal notice to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, which are the first step toward opening cases against the countries for not living up to their legal obligations.

They were an attempt to ease the pressure on frontline countries such as Greece and Italy.

#ECJ confirms our view on the migration scheme.

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. "This decision jeopardises the security and future of all of Europe".

Under the plan, Hungary must admit more than 2,300 asylum seekers, while Slovakia must in the long term take in 1,400.

Szijjarto said Hungary would focus on defending the EU's external border against incoming migrants and asylum-seekers and urged the European Union to abandon its "unsuccessful" refugee-sharing plan.

The legal challenge was also backed by Poland, which alongside Hungary has not taken in any asylum seekers.

"The Hungarian government considers today's decision by the European court to be appalling and irresponsible", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference.

Germany's foreign minister is welcoming the ruling by a European Union court that Hungary and Slovakia must participate in an EU plan to relocate refugees.

Fico says the 2015 plan to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy over two years was a temporary solution that will cease to be effective on Sept 26.

But Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said he accepted the court's decision.

Gabriel added: "We can also expect now, and we do expect, that all European partners will keep to the verdict and implement the decisions without further hesitation".

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

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.

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