March 21, 2018

Relocation now or referral to the EU Court - Avramopoulos

07 September 2017, 02:02 | Clyde Nash

A group of migrants seen through razor wire crosses a border from Croatia near the village of Zakany Hungary in 2015

A group of migrants seen through razor wire crosses a border from Croatia near the village of Zakany Hungary in 2015

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.

Szijjarto said Hungary would focus on defending the EU's external border against incoming migrants and asylum-seekers and urged the European Union to abandon its "unsuccessful" refugee-sharing plan.

'That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate'.

In the suit, the two countries protested against the decision passed by the EU Council amid the peak of the migration crisis in 2015, introducing a quota mechanism to help relocated refugees from Greece and Italy. However, at the moment were allocated only about 25 thousand people.

The EU Commission is pursuing an "infringement procedure" against Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic for failing to accept refugees. Of those, 19,200 were transferred from Greece and 8,212 from Italy.

European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos had said he regretted how certain member states "continue to show no solidarity and to ignore our repeated calls to participate in this common effort".

Kenya: Election to be repeated after judge cancels result
Analysts say that could lead to a contentious battle over whether the electoral commission should be allowed to oversee the revote.

Hungary's prime minister, Peter Szijjarto, said after the ruling Wednesday that his government finds the decision "appalling and irresponsible".

The court statement said Poland intervened in support of Hungary during the proceedings, while the executive European Commission, along with Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden and several other member states, backed the relocation plan.

Avramopoulos said the ECJ's decision is encouraging and that he hoped to reach a final compromise by the end of the year. That entailed closer "relationships with key third countries like Niger and Libya, or simply providing cash to encourage governments to limit flows", she said, referring to funding for programs like job creation and for security measures to keep migrants from attempting the hazardous trip to Europe.

The EU was accused of "raping" its own values after its top court ruled countries should be forced to accept refugees under a relocation scheme.

But Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said he accepted the court's decision. "Solidarity can not be a la carte", Avramopoulos said, referring to a recent request by Budapest to the European Union commission to finance its border fence.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 125,860 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year.

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