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European Union sues member states over migrant relocation failure

European Union sues member states over migrant relocation failure

The temporary emergency relocation scheme was established in two Council Decisions in September 2015 (Council Decision (EU) 2015/1523 and Council Decision (EU) 2015/1601), in which Member States committed to relocate persons in need of worldwide protection from Italy and Greece.

Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic had given no satisfactory explanations as to why they had failed to take in more refugees, it added.

They will be referred to the European Court of Justice for "non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation", the commission said in a statement, referring to the three countries' staunch refusal to take part in an EU scheme forcing migrants on unwilling nations.

The three countries claim that Brussels is attempting to interfere with their national sovereignty.

The Commission has also chose to file a lawsuit in the European court of justice against Hungary adopted in this country, the laws on non-governmental organizations and higher education. With over 32,000 persons having been relocated so far, there are still eligible applicants in Italy and Greece that should be relocated as a matter of priority.

The row also underscores a growing rift between western European states and newer, former Soviet-bloc states in the European Union over a series of issues from migration to democratic standards.

The European Commission said on Thursday that the three states were in breach of their "legal obligations" and that they had given "no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision".




The European Commission - the executive arm of the EU - said Hungary had repeatedly failed to answer its concerns over both cases.

The commission said Hungary's education law "disproportionally restricts European Union and non-EU universities in their operations and needs to be brought back in line with European Union law".

Budapest also faces legal action over university law.

The commission said the laws "indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from overseas to civil society organisations".

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski also pointed to the fact Poland issued more than a million work permits a year ago alone for migrants from the country's conflict-stricken neighbour Ukraine.

The Luxembourg-based ECJ could impose heavy fines.

The European Parliament also voted to start an EU sanctions procedure over Warsaw's controversial judicial reforms that could eventually suspend Polish voting rights in the bloc.