Eastern Europe must accept its share of asylum seekers, European Union court rules

Eastern Europe must accept its share of asylum seekers, European Union court rules

In a strongly worded ruling, the European Court of Justice said that the EU was within its rights to order members to take in refugees from Greece and Italy, where almost 200,000 asylum seekers, mainly from Syria, remain stranded amid a grinding migration crisis.

The ECJ's ruling said: 'The court dismisses the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the provisional mechanism for the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers. "Under the policy, Hungary is required to take in 1,294 refugees and Slovakia 902".

"In contravention of the founding treaties, the ruling asserts the power of the European Commission over EU member states". 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 in the country.

Robert Fico told reporters on Wednesday "we fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice".

The council was supported in the challenge by Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and the European Commission.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the current system of quotas for resettling refugees is proportionate, amid protests by east European states that cite culture clashes and terrorist attacks.

The low level of relocations, the ECJ noted, was partly due to "the lack of cooperation on the part of certain member states". Yet, only approximately 27,700 people have been moved so far.

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.




"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".

Peter Szijjartom, the nation's foreign minister, claimed the decision was made on political rather than legal considerations and "jeopardises the security and future of all of Europe".

INSIDE STORY: What's the EU's vision to address the refugee crisis? . He says he believes his country doesn't face any sanctions from the European Union over its stance.

They were an attempt to ease the pressure on frontline countries such as Greece and Italy.

The EU executive is now believed to be ready to institute court proceedings within weeks that could lead to fines for member states not complying with the scheme.

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

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".

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