European Union sues Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over low refugee intake

European Union sues Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over low refugee intake

The European Commission on Thursday made a decision to haul the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland before the Court of Justice of the EU, in the latest legal action against them for not taking in refugees.

In response to the migration crisis in 2015, the European Union adopted a decision to relocate asylum seekers who arrived in Italy and Greece, which were dealing with a massive inflow of migrants.

However, Hungary and Poland took none in at all, while the Czech Republic accepted just 12 refugees.

But the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland have taken in nearly none in two years.

The commission, the EU's executive body, accused the three countries of "non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation". Brussels launched infringement proceedings against the three states in June for failing to take in any refugees under the quota system.

The bloc, however, found the trio's response unsatisfactory, saying that "the three countries have given no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision".

European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans said: "Going to court is always the instrument of last resort". "We hope we still find a way out through an act of participation by these three countries".

Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski also said his government was "ready to defend its position in the court".

-Progress Report on the European Agenda on Migration.

Newly appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has moved to stop the cases being referred to the European Court of Justice, telling local news agency CTK that he wanted to negotiate further with the EU.

Budapest faced a triple legal whammy from Brussels on Thursday, with the European Commission also taking Hungary to the ECJ over a crackdown on education and foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets United States billionaire George Soros.

In both cases, Hungary has failed to address European Union concerns about the laws or amend the legislation to bring it in line with European Union standards.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban considers Soros a key political foe, mainly due to their diverging views on migration.

In June, Hungary approved a law aimed at forcing civil society groups receiving more than 24,000 euros ($26,000) annually in overseas funding to register as a "foreign- supported organisation", or face closure.

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