Migrant crisis: European Union court rejects quota challenge

Sep 07, 2017, 01:52
Migrant crisis: European Union court rejects quota challenge

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday dismissed the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the provisional mechanism for the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers to relieve pressure on front-line countries.

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

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.

The EU's migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the court's decision was an opportunity to end in-fighting between member states.

The UN's migration agency reports that 125,860 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea so far this year.

But the Commission says "significant additional efforts" are needed to cut the asylum application backlog and improve processing in Greece so more people can be returned to Turkey.

"In contravention of the founding treaties, the ruling asserts the power of the European Commission over EU member states".

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Back in June, dismayed over the failure of some member states to accept asylum-seekers, the European Commission chose 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.

Slovakia is not included in the legal action.

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.

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".

"Our position on quotas does not change", Fico said. Of those, 19,200 were transferred from Greece and 8,212 from Italy. He says he believes his country doesn't face any sanctions from the European Union over its stance.

While Hungary and Slovakia have now failed in their legal challenge to the policy, that doesn't fix the political problem.

The ECJ said in its ruling that the European Union "was not required to act unanimously when it adopted the contested decision".

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Foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said: 'Politics has raped European law and European values.

"Solidarity is not a one-way street", he said.

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

Szijjarto said the decision "endangers the future and security of Europe as a whole".

Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Romania opposed the plan, arguing they were not equipped to integrate people from mainly Muslim countries.

"ECJ confirms relocation scheme valid".

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