Furious Hungary vows to fight on against European Union refugee quotas

Furious Hungary vows to fight on against European Union refugee quotas

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.

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

The system was adopted in 2015 at the height of asylum seekers' migration to Europe to escape wars and terrorism in the Middle East and Africa.

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.

Hungary could be ordered to pay fines if it fails to take its quota of 1,294 people, though enforcement might require the European Commission, the bloc's administrative arm, to bring its own court case.

Only around 24,000 people have been relocated so far.

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on September 6, 2017 to dismiss the lawsuit, filed by Slovakia and Hungary, against an EU institution.

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.

Furious Hungary vows to fight on against European Union refugee quotas
Furious Hungary vows to fight on against European Union refugee quotas

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

The decision upholds the union's right to force member states to take in refugees. The ruling will also complicate relations between the European Union and Poland, which supported the Hungarian and Slovakian challenge.

At a press conference in Brussels after the ruling, Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Commissioner for migration, told reporters that states that continued to refuse compliance with the plan "in the coming weeks" would be referred to the European Court of Justice. Slovakia and Hungary insisted in their lawsuits that the quota mechanism should have been passed unanimously.

Poland supported the plan, but later strongly opposed it when the right-wing PiS government came to power.

But Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said he accepted the court's decision.

"We will continue to work on having solidarity expressed in different ways other than forcing migrants [on Slovakia] from other countries that don't want to be here anyway". While the flow of Syrian refugees has slowed somewhat since a deal was signed with Turkey, the question remains of what to do with the ones that have already arrived.

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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