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Hungary and Slovakia Lose in Fight Over EU Migrant Quotas

07 September 2017

The judges rejected an appeal in Slovakia and Hungary.

The court said Wednesday that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary".

"The mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate", the ECJ said in a statement announcing its ruling.

In response to the migration crisis that hit Europe in the summer of 2015, the Council of the European Union demanded that member countries should help Italy and Greece deal with the migrant arrivals.

The agreement provided for the relocation of up to 160,000 people across member states, but only about 25,000 have been transferred so far.

Hungary and Slovakia asked the court to annul the decision. Hungary and Poland have not accepted any migrants within the mechanism, while the Czech Republic stopped accepting refugees in August 2016.

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

The two countries defied an European Union plan to resettle 120,000 registered refugees across the 28 member states through a quota system.

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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.

Szydlo says she isn't surprised by the court's decision, but that it "absolutely does not change the position of the Polish government with respect to migration policy". Despite earnest efforts from some European Union leaders, there have not been much of a progress in that area and millions remain stranded in the country they first arrived namely Italy and Greece leading to more political tensions in those two countries.

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

While Hungary and Slovakia have now failed in their legal challenge to the policy, that doesn't fix the political problem.

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.

Over the past few years Europe has been faced with millions of refugees and asylum seekers escaping war zones and hardship from across Africa and the Middle East.

Amnesty International welcomed the court's decision. Under the policy, Hungary is required to take in 1,294 refugees and Slovakia 902.

But the bloc soon faced intense opposition from member states in Central and Eastern Europe that resented any obligation to accept a preset number of migrants arriving in Greece and Italy.

Hungary and Slovakia Lose in Fight Over EU Migrant Quotas