Hungary and Slovakia defiant after European Union court rebuke

Kelly Massey
September 7, 2017

In the proceedings before the Court, Poland has intervened in support of Slovakia and Hungary, while Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and the Commission intervened in support of the Council. Hungary and Poland have not accepted any migrants within the mechanism, while the Czech Republic stopped accepting refugees in August 2016.

"Politics has raped European law and values", he added. The European Council's decision in September 2015 provided for 120,000 people "in clear need of worldwide protection" to be relocated from Italy and Greece to other EU member states.

In September 2015, European Union leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa.

Fico said the scheme was a temporary solution that will end on September 26.

Since compulsory quotas were introduced in September 2015, Hungary has not accepted a single asylum seeker, while almost 28,000 people have been relocated under the scheme, far below the 160,000 target.

Besides Hungary's legal arguments against the European Union plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has also made the case and the issue the focal point of its political activities since early 2015 and ahead of parliamentary elections expected in April 2018. However, this does not change the position of the Polish government on migration policy'.

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Ms. Collett said Europe's leaders were increasingly focused on an effort to stop migrants from trying to get to Europe in the first place.

However, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed the verdict as "irresponsible", saying it "threatens the security of all of Europe".

The European Court of Justice overruled Hungary and Slovakia's objections against migrant quotas introduced to ease the burden on countries such as Italy and Greece. While the flow of Syrian refugees has slowed somewhat since a deal was signed with Turkey, the question remains of what to do with the ones that have already arrived.

Over the past few years Europe has been faced with millions of refugees and asylum seekers escaping war zones and hardship from across Africa and the Middle East.

The commission said on Wednesday that 27,695 asylum seekers have been relocated so far from Greece (19,244) and Italy (8,451). The agency estimated that 2,537 people have died in 2017 attempting to make the Mediterranean crossing.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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