EU Court Rejects Quota Challenge

Sep 07, 2017, 01:51

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has rejected a challenge brought by Hungary and Slovakia against the European Union's power to force member states to admit asylum seekers.

While Wednesday's ruling does not have direct consequences on Hungary's and Slovakia's policy, it could increase pressure on eastern and central European member states to take in people from Greece and Italy. Poland backed the Hungarian and Slovak complaint.

The fences have mostly stopped refugees from passing through Hungary on their way to western Europe but Hungary has also greatly reduced the chances for asylum seekers to submit applications for protection in the country.

Politics has raped European law and values.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Wednesday that arrangement "continues to work and deliver results", the AP reports. So far only 25,000 refugees have been moved.

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.

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The European Commission is also carrying out legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for refusing to implement the EU directive.

The two nations opposed a 2015 decision by the EU's top policy body, at the height of the Mediterranean migration crisis, to assist Italy and Greece by making other European Union states admit 120,000 people.

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.

Slovakia is not included in the legal action.

"This absolutely does not change the position of the Polish government with respect to migration policy", she said.

It estimates that another 2,800 still need to be relocated from Greece, while Italy counts 7,200 who are eligible so far this year - of which only 4,000 have been registered for relocation.

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The UNHCR urged European Union nations to "increase the pace of relocation for eligible asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece, and to fully meet their relocation commitments as a concrete gesture of solidarity towards countries of first arrival in the EU".

The measures were legally taken by the EU Council and did not require ratification by individual governments, its news release said.

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

"We should not give in to threats, " he said.

"This decision jeopardises the security and future of all of Europe", he told a press conference, adding that the decion was political.

Under global 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.

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"The Hungarian and Slovakian governments" appeal to ECJ was a baseless attempt to make "refugee free zones' of their countries".