Furious Hungary vows to fight on against European Union refugee quotas

Laura Christensen
September 7, 2017

Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said that Slovakia should not go against the ruling, and that the government will decide on further steps, the ČTK newswire reported.

He added that Budapest will take all legal action possible to prevent relocating people into Hungary "against the will of the Hungarian people".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has echoed that threat, warning Orban "solidarity is not a one-way street". "The door remains, it is still open, and we should convince all member states to fulfill their commitments", he said.

The court "observes in particular that the small number of relocations so far carried out under the contested decision can be explained by a series of factors that the Council could not have foreseen at the time when the decision was adopted, including, in particular, the lack of cooperation on the part of certain Member States", it said.

The EU executive said on Wednesday it was ready to institute court proceedings within weeks that could lead to fines for Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic if they refuse to take in asylum-seekers from Italy and Greece.

Despite the court ruling, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said her country will stick by its refusal to take in refugees.

Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, and Hungarian Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi hold a joint news conference after the decision of the Court of Justice of Luxembourg about the European Union migrant quotas at the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, on September 6, 2017.

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"Our position on quotas does not change", Prime Minister Robert Fico said.

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 mandatory quota system was approved in September 2015 by a majority of European Union member states, but was rejected by Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary. Under the quota mechanism it should have accepted 652 people from Greece and 250 from Italy. He said it jeopardizes the security and future of Europe.

The legal challenge was also backed by Poland, which alongside Hungary has not taken in any asylum seekers.

Human rights group Amnesty International is welcoming a ruling by the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia on the relocation of asylum-seekers, saying they have been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones".

The program is considered a key part of the EU's migration policy.

Other reports by My Hot News

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