EU to launch action against 3 countries over refugee plan

EU to launch action against 3 countries over refugee plan

But it said they have not taken action “in breach of their legal obligations”, and that it “has made a decision to launch infringement procedures” on Wednesday.

Poland and Hungary haven’t taken in any refugees since september 2015, when European Union member states pledged to relocate a total of 160,000 migrants from overstretched Greece and Italy within two years.

“We do not agree with such blackmail, with the notion that if you do not accept migrants you are not showing solidarity, and you will be financially punished and maybe have your funds, European subsidies, cut”, he said on Monday at a joint-press conference in Warsaw with Hungary’s foreign minister, held ahead of the Commission decision.

The Czech Republic had initially taken in 12 people from their assigned quota of 2,691, but said earlier in June it would take no more in, citing security concerns.

But Poland said it stands ready to take legal action of its own.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have until Wednesday to change their minds.

“The relocation scheme legally obliges that member states, all member states pledges at least every three months”, noted Avramopoulos.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka that action was on the cards when they met in Prague last week.

“With regard to the worsened security situation in Europe and dysfunctionality of the quota system, it will not participate in it”.

Brussels will assume a hard line against Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic over their refusal to accept refugees according to previously agreed quotas.

While Slovakia has only accepted 16 refugees out of its pledge of 902, the EC will not move against the country because its pledge to accept more is still pending, writes Express.

The three states could be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and eventually face heavy fines.

The move shows the frustration in Brussels over the slow response to the scheme, which aimed to relocate 160,000 migrants from frontline migrant crisis states Italy and Greece but which has so far seen only 20,000 moved.

The Commission is backed in the feud by Germany and Sweden, countries that took in most of the people who arrived in the EU. An EU official said that despite its legal challenge, Slovakia had heeded the call to take in refugees and so escaped sanction. Hungarian lawmakers on September 4 passed a package of laws in a bid to curb the rising influx of refugees and migrants who crossed into the country for a better life in Europe.