Culture&Arts

Top EU court throws out challenge vs refugee quotas

Top EU court throws out challenge vs refugee quotas

In their legal challenge Hungary and Slovakia argued at the ECJ that the policy exposed them to the risk of Islamist terrorism, because numerous migrants are Muslims.

The European Court of Justice [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment] that Slovakia and Hungary must host asylum seekers as a part of the EU migration policy [EU materials].

The ECJ's decision responded to a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia over the legality of a September 2015 Council decision to distribute asylum seekers from Greece and Italy across the bloc, based on quotas established by the European Union commission.

'That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate'. However, at the moment were allocated only about 25 thousand people.

The European Commission is also carrying out legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for refusing to implement the EU directive. European Union officials say countries will still have to share eligible asylum-seekers arriving in Greece and Italy up until September 26.

"If the member states do not change their approach in the coming weeks we should then consider to take the last step in the infringement procedure: to refer Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice", Avramopoulos said at a press conference in Brussels.

In its ruling Wednesday, the court rejected all the arguments brought by Hungary and Slovakia.

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". The decision is also likely to be welcomed by other countries such as Greece and Sweden, where the sheer volume of new arrivals threatens to overwhelm the system.

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"ECJ confirms relocation scheme valid".

"Politics has raped European law and values", he said.

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

Beata Szydlo, the Polish prime minister, said: 'We expected this decision.

Slovakia is not included in the legal action as it recently agreed to host a few refugees.

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

Hungary's government built security fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia two years ago to stop refugees and migrants entering the country along the so-called "Balkan route" from Turkey to Germany.


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