Refugee crisis: European Court of Justice rejects quota challenge

Posted September 07, 2017

"We fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice", Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico told outlets including the AP.

The court "dismisses in their entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary", it said.

Meant to last just two years, the measure adopted by the Council of the European Union calls for other EU member states to help relocate 120,000 migrants in need of global protection.

He said the total to be relocated from the two European Union states is "much lower" with a 97 percent drop in people landing in Greece from Turkey and with the fact most arriving in Italy from Libya are not eligible at all.

Slovakia and Hungary voted against the adoption of the contested decision in the council - as did the Czech Republic and Romania - and lobbied for annulment by the European Court of Justice. The European Commission, Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden and several other EU countries backed the plan.

Commenting on the court's decision, the EU's migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said member states should swiftly move on relocating asylum seekers.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has made migrants a key political issue since early 2015 and ahead of the parliamentary election expected in April 2018.

In their case before the ECJ, Hungary and Slovakia argued that there had been procedural flaws and that the decision was neither a suitable response to the migrant crisis nor necessary to deal with it.

In March 2016, the European Union reached a deal with Turkey to send back asylum seekers who take clandestine routes to Greece from Turkey.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has echoed that threat, warning Orban "solidarity is not a one-way street".

As Deutsche Welle reports, "Only 24,000. refugees from Greece and Italy have been transferred to other states".

The top court's press office told AFP there is "no onward appeal for Hungary and Slovakia" when asked about Szijjarto's vow that Budapest will use "all legal means" to fight the scheme.

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The area was barricaded and military vehicles were stationed on the periphery to take people out. Flood waters in Houston during Tropical Storm Harvey. . "So we need to put politics aside".

Szijjarto said Hungary will continue to put emphasis on the defense of the EU's external borders and said it is time for the European Union to abandon the "unsuccessful" relocation scheme.

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

"Politically, it enforces the concept of shared responsibility, which means backing for those countries that support distributions of asylum seekers", she said.

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

But the bloc soon faced intense opposition from member states in Central and Eastern Europe that resented any obligation to accept a preset number of migrants arriving in Greece and Italy.

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