European Union threatens Hungary, Poland with fines if refuse refugees

European Union threatens Hungary, Poland with fines if refuse refugees

European Union threatens Hungary, Poland with fines if refuse refugees

Member states are stuck on asylum reform over discussions on how to share asylum seekers in case of another influx, due to strong opposition mainly from eastern and central European member states.

The quotas' legality was confirmed on Wednesday morning, when judges at the European Court of Justice threw out a joint legal challenge against them by Hungary and Slovakia.

"That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate", a news release on the ECJ's ruling 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.

Poland initially accepted a quota of several thousand refugees, but quickly changed its mind after the 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels, citing security concerns.

It's not clear what consequences there will be, if any, for member states that refuse to take in migrants.

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Avramopoulos said the ECJ's decision is encouraging and that he hoped to reach a final compromise by the end of the year.

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said he respected the court decision, but that his government still does not like the relocation plan, which he and others in Eastern Europe see as quotas imposed on them by unelected European Union bureaucrats in Brussels.

If the member states do not change their approach in the coming weeks, we should then consider [taking] the last step in the infringement procedure: "to refer Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice". The system was meant to relocate 160,000 refugees who have fled to Greece and Italy in order to help prevent those countries from being overwhelmed.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said "politics has raped European law and values" in response to Wednesday's ruling.

Under worldwide and European law, countries are required to grant asylum to people fleeing war or persecution but not those classed as economic migrants, the EU designation for most sub-Saharan Africans. 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. Almost 80 percent arrived in Italy, with the rest divided among Greece, Cyprus and Spain.

Brussels launched the relocation scheme in September 2015, the year more than one million migrants arrived in Europe by sea.

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