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The Latest: Amnesty Welcomes EU Court Ruling on Refugees

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 05:56 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Latest on the European Court of Justice ruling on relocation of migrants in the EU (all times local):

11:10 a.m.

EU lawmakers are welcoming a court ruling rejecting an appeal by Hungary and Slovakia against the European Union's flagship refugee-sharing scheme.

Lead parliamentarian on the scheme Ska Keller said Wednesday that the ruling means "there is no excuse" for EU states not to share refugees from Greece and Italy as they have committed to do.

She said that "leaders such as (Hungarian Prime Minister) Viktor Orban cannot demand more money for border protection, while blocking the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy."

Claude Moraes, chairman of the Civil Liberties Committee dealing with migration, said "we urgently need to have in place an organized and compassionate response" to the plight of refugees.

He said the slow pace of relocation "draws attention to significant gaps in the EU's response to the biggest refugee crisis on the continent since World War II."

10:50 a.m.

Human rights group Amnesty International is welcoming a ruling by the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia on the relocation of asylum-seekers, saying they have been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones."

The group's EU office director, Iverna McGowan, said Wednesday that "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."

She called on EU nations to "show solidarity with each other, and with asylum-seekers who are seeking protection in Europe."

EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years, but only about 24,000 have been relocated so far.

Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the decision annulled.

10:20 a.m.

The European Court of Justice says it has rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme meant to relocate refugees.

The court said Wednesday that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary."

EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years. Only around 24,000 people have been relocated so far.

The program is considered a key part of the EU's migration policy.

Hungary and Poland voted against the plan and have refused to take part, while so far Slovakia has accepted only a handful of refugees from Greece.

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The Latest on the European Court of Justice ruling on relocation of migrants in the EU (all times local):11:10 a.m.EU lawmakers are welcoming a court ruling rejecting an appeal by Hungary and Slovakia against the European Union's flagship refugee-sharing scheme.Lead...
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