Top EU court throws out Slovakia and Hungary's action against migrant relocation
- Author: Wendy Palmer Sep 07, 2017,
Sep 07, 2017, 1:55
As you know, the program of distribution of refugees, adopted in September 2015 by a majority of member States of the European Union, provided for the distribution of 160 thousand asylum seekers among European Union countries. Slovakia and Hungary denounced the plan at the time, citing their heterogeneous population, with a largely single ethnic representation, as an extra burden in resettling refugees.
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".
Italy, now the main destination for migrants taking to the sea following measures to block the route from Turkey to Greece and from Greece northward, has been prominent in calling for the wealthier Western states to cut European Union subsidies to poor neighbours which do not show "solidarity" in taking in migrants.
"Few E.U. member states have actually met their relocation quota, and most were just a lot more passive about it", she said.
Slovakia and Hungary which, like the Czech Republic and Romania, voted against the adoption of the contested decision in the Council, and asked the ECJ to annul the decision.
However, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed the verdict as "irresponsible", saying it "threatens the security of all of Europe".
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.
The European Commission, the EU executive, welcomed the ECJ ruling.
Szijjarto said the decision "endangers the future and security of Europe as a whole".
"Politics has raped European law and values", he added.
Earlier in August, according to the website of the Hungarian government, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen said that Hungary is willing to offer asylum to Aideen Strandsson, a Christian convert who is facing deportation to Iran after being denied asylum in Sweden.
In their case before the ECJ, Hungary and Slovakia argued that there had been procedural flaws and that the decision was neither a suitable response to the migrant crisis nor necessary to deal with it.
"I was convinced that such a decision would be made [by the court], but this absolutely does not change the stance of the Polish government with respect to migration policy", Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo said on Wednesday.
The Czechs, which has also been threatened with legal action for refusing to accept refugees under the quotas, ... "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".
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.