Tags: EU | Europe | Migrants

EU Court Rejects Hungary, Slovakia Appeal in Refugee Case

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 05:56 AM

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The European Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme to relocate refugees.

The court said 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 from Greece and Italy over two years, but only around 24,000 people have been moved so far. Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the decision annulled.

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

The refugee scheme was adopted by the EU's "qualified majority" vote — around two thirds — and the ECJ held that this was appropriate, saying the EU "was not required to act unanimously" on this decision.

The court also noted that the small number of relocations so far is due to a series of factors that the EU could not really have foreseen, including "the lack of cooperation on the part of certain member states."

Human rights group Amnesty International welcomed the ruling, saying Hungary and Slovakia had been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones."

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an advocate for asylum-seekers, urged Hungary to give refugees an opportunity to make their case for asylum.

"The lesson of the verdict is that helping people fleeing war and terror is truly a common responsibility for Europe," the group said. "Hungary needs to respect the decision of the EU court."

Besides Hungary's legal arguments against the EU plan, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government has also made the case and the issue the focal point of its political activities since early 2015 and ahead of parliamentary elections expected in April 2018.

Hungary's position is that only its elected leaders should be able to decide who is allowed into the country. Orban has said that the large influx of mainly Muslim immigrants threatens Europe's and Hungary's cultural identity.

From mid-September 2015, Hungary closed off its southern border first with Serbia and later with Croatia, with a fence protected by razor wire. The fences have mostly stopped migrants 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.

Cook reported from Brussels.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Europe
The European Court of Justice on Wednesday rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme to relocate refugees.The court said that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary."EU countries agreed in...
EU,Europe,Migrants
391
2017-56-06
Wednesday, 06 September 2017 05:56 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved