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The European court obliged Slovakia and Hungary to accept refugees

The European court obliged Slovakia and Hungary to accept refugees

The European Court of Justice has rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of an EU scheme meant to relocate refugees.

The European Court of Justice overruled Hungary and Slovakia's objections against migrant quotas introduced to ease the burden on countries such as Italy and Greece. Poland backed the Hungarian and Slovak complaint. EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos noted that the judiciary is independent in all EU states in which there is rule of law.

The UN's migration agency reports that 125,860 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea so far this year.

The EU's relocation plan - which expires on September 26 - has not been fully executed, in no small part because of some member states' reluctance to accept migrants.

The European Commission has already launched an "infringement procedure" against the three for failing to take, or not recently accepting, some of the thousands of refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece over the last two years.

Slovakia is not included in the legal action.

The EU has also refused to pay for a wall Hungary built at its Serbian border, reminding the country of its decision to "reject an offer of concrete solidarity" during the 2015 migrant crisis. However, this does not change the position of the Polish government on migration policy'. Of those, 19,200 were transferred from Greece and 8,212 from Italy.

Under the policy, the European Union set quotas for each country to accept fixed numbers of migrants to ease the direct burden on Italy and Greece - the usual points of arrival.

The top court's press office told AFP there is "no onward appeal for Hungary and Slovakia" when asked about Szijjarto's vow that Budapest will use "all legal means" to fight the scheme.

The measures were legally taken by the EU Council and did not require ratification by individual governments, its news release said. He said "solidarity is not a one-way street".

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He soon died at a hospital. "This is no day for celebration for anyone", Kline said. He called the defendants' experience frightful and said they have been demonized.

"We should not give in to threats, " he said.

Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted "the European Court of Justice upheld our case: the redistribution of asylum seekers is compulsory in the #EU".

The court noted the small number of relocations so far is due to factors that the European Union could not have foreseen, including "the lack of co-operation on the part of certain member states".

To date, Slovakia has accepted only about a dozen.

However, Avramopoulos said there is a "misunderstanding" if the public believes member states should have taken in by now more than 100,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy - when in fact they have admitted just under 28,000.

Claude Moraes, chairman of the Civil Liberties Committee dealing with migration, said "we urgently need to have in place an organized and compassionate response" to the plight of refugees.

"The lesson of the verdict is that helping people fleeing war and terror is truly a common responsibility for Europe", the group said. "Member states must show solidarity with each other, and with asylum seekers who are seeking protection in Europe".

In response to the migration crisis that affected Europe in the summer of 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision for the relocation from those two member states to other EU states, over a period of two years, of just 120,000 persons in clear need of worldwide protection.

He described the court's decision as political.

However, he said those countries that refused to take part could be referred to the ECJ and potentially face sizeable fines for breaching European Union law. Only around 24,000 people have been relocated so far.

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