Hungary, Slovakia lose fight against European Union migration deal

Hungary and Slovakia Lose in Fight Over EU Migrant Quotas

Beata Szydlo spoke on Wednesday after the European Court of Justice rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of an EU scheme meant to relocate refugees from Greece and Italy.

Hungary and Slovakia pledged not to change their opposition to taking in asylum seekers after the EU's top court on Wednesday (6 September) dismissed the two countries' complaints over the EU's migration quota scheme. "By today's judgment, the Court dismisses in their entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary".

At issue is a quota system adopted by the European Union to help Italy and Greece amid the 2015 migration crisis.

As you know, the program of distribution of refugees, adopted in September 2015 by a majority of member States of the European Union, provided for the distribution of 160 thousand asylum seekers among European Union countries.

Many of these people arrive in the European Union in Spain, Greece, and Italy due because of their geographical location - putting pressure on those states, also hit by economic crisis, to care for them. Slovakia has already begun accepting migrants relocated from Greece, according to the Commission.

If Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic do not cooperate with the relocation scheme, they could be referred to the ECJ and face heavy fines.

Szijjarto said the decision was made based on political rather than legal or professional considerations. "Slovakia and Hungary have tried to dodge the EU's system for solidarity, but each country has a role to play in protecting people fleeing violence and persecution". The Czech Republic and Romania have also voiced criticisms of the plan, but only Slovakia and Hungary took legal action.

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.

The European Commission, the EU executive, welcomed the ECJ ruling.

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

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

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

Budapest announced at the end of August that it will extend the state of emergency declared past year over the migrant crisis until March 2018, while Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that the "threat of terrorism in Europe has increased", thus justifying increased border controls, according to The Associated Press.

Hungary accused the Luxembourg court of making an "outrageous and irresponsible" politically driven decision.

However, Avramopoulos said there is a "misunderstanding" if the public believes member states should have taken in by now more than 100,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy - when in fact they have admitted just under 28,000.

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