A press release by the European Parliament applauds today's European Court of Justice ruling, which voted against Hungary's and Slovakia's appeal and ruled for the relocation of 120,000 asylum-seekers (ECJ's press release).
Ska Keller, European Parliament rapporteur for relocation decisions, said: "This ruling is a milestone for the EU. The ECJ confirmed that solidarity is a key principle of the common asylum policy".
Against the background of severe migration and refugee crises in the summer of 2015, the EU adopted two emergency decisions to relocate thousands of refugees. 160,000 asylum seekers with a high chance of being granted refugee status from Italy and Greece were to be relocated by September 2017 to other member states where their applications would be processed. The second decision foresaw the relocation of 120,000 asylum-seekers.
Last June, the European Commission announced infringement procedures against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for non-compliance with their obligations under the relocation decisions. Neither Hungary nor Poland have so far relocated anyone, while the Czech Republic has not done so since August 2016.
Both Hungary and Slovakia appealed the European Court of Justice to annul the second Decision, which foresaw the relocation of 120,000 asylum-seekers, denouncing what they considered wrong legal grounds and arguing that it was not proportionate nor adequate for the purpose sought.
Ska Keller said: “Now that the ECJ has dismissed the actions of Hungary and Slovakia against the redistribution of refugees, there is no excuse. Finally, those member states which have so far boycotted redistribution must also deliver. Solidarity in the EU is not a one-way street. Government leaders such as Viktor Orbán cannot demand more money for border protection, while blocking the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy.”
She added: “This ruling is a milestone for the EU. The ECJ confirmed that solidarity is a key principle of the common asylum policy. All member states must now live up to their obligations; it is insane that most countries are still lagging far behind. The European Commission should also follow-up with the infringement proceedings initiated against Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland for not doing their part”.