European Union refugee ruling: Hungary and Slovakia must stick or twist

European Union refugee ruling: Hungary and Slovakia must stick or twist

The European Court of Justice [official website] on Wednesday ruled [judgment] that Slovakia and Hungary must host asylum seekers as a part of the EU migration policy [EU materials].

The mechanism helps frontier countries like Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis, and the European Union court said the action was proportionate.

The European Court of Justice upheld the EU's right to order national governments to take in their fair share of asylum seekers, arguing that "the mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate".

He added that Budapest will take all legal action possible to prevent relocating people into Hungary "against the will of the Hungarian people".

Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic are also facing legal action by the EU executive, the European Commission, for their inaction over the relocation of asylum seekers.

Greece's asylum service faces a huge workload due to the increase of applications from refugees and migrants over the past year.

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

Reaction to the ruling was considerably calmer in Slovakia, where prime minister Robert Fico said that, although his government's view of the refugee relocation scheme "has not changed at all" it would "fully respect the verdict".

As the United Kingdom has an opt-out on European Union rules regarding asylum, it decided not to take part in the scheme.

Mattis breaks with Trump on diplomacy with North Korea
On a recent trip to the region, he said the military's main goal is supporting USA efforts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. Ren Guoqiang told reporters that all parties should exercise restraint and avoid words and actions that escalate tension.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the ruling means eastern European members must abide by the refugee sharing scheme.

"ECJ confirms relocation scheme valid".

Hungary has refused to accept a single refugee as part of its hard-line response to the crisis that also saw an electronic fence being built along its border.

"Our position on quotas does not change", Fico said.

In their legal challenge Hungary and Slovakia argued at the ECJ that the policy exposed them to the risk of Islamist terrorism, because numerous migrants are Muslims.

"We will continue to work on having solidarity expressed in different ways other than forcing [on us] migrants from other countries that don't want to be here anyway", he said.

The system was meant to relocate 160,000 refugees who have fled to Greece and Italy in order to help prevent those countries from being overwhelmed.

In March 2016, the European Union reached a deal with Turkey to send back asylum seekers who take clandestine routes to Greece from Turkey.

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