EU to refer Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland to Court of Justice over refugees News
EU to refer Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland to Court of Justice over refugees

The European Commission [official website] said Thursday that they plan [press release] to take Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to the Court of Justice over their failure to accept their quota of refugees.

This decision comes six months after the Commission launched infringement procedures against the three countries for failing to comply with their legal obligation to accept refugees under an emergency relocation and resettlement scheme they agreed to two years ago.

The plan required [JURIST report] the three member states to help relocate asylum seekers in Italy and Greece. Both of the Southern European countries were experiencing an influx of migrants [Guardian report] escaping persecution and poverty and requested that other EU members help with the refugee crisis.

Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were supposed to help resettle a combined total of 10,000 people but, so far, the Czech Republic is the only country out of three that has accepted refugees. The Commission received unsatisfactory responses from the respective governments of the three member states when they asked them why they have not contributed to the relocation of refugees. According to the Commission:

[The unsatisfactory responses are] why the Commission has decided to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure and refer the three Member States to the Court of Justice of the EU. The Council Decisions require Member States to pledge available places for relocation every three months to ensure a swift and orderly relocation procedure. Whereas all other Member States have relocated and pledged in the past months, Hungary has not taken any action at all since the relocation scheme started, Poland has not relocated anyone and not pledged since December 2015. The Czech Republic has not relocated anyone since August 2016 and not made any new pledges for over a year.

As of November, more than 32,000 people have been relocated but there are still eligible applicants in Italy and Greece that should be relocated as a “matter of priority.”