The European Commission is suing the eastern bloc countries for failing to fulfill their legal obligations in accepting a share of asylum seekers. The defendants claim that the EU is interfering with their sovereignty.
The European Commission took the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the European Court of Justice Thursday over their failure to accept the required quotas for refugees. The contentious scheme, which was introduced at the height of the refugee crisis in 2015, was focused on ‘burden-sharing,’ meaning that 160,000 refugees should be relocated across these countries to ease the burden on Greece and Italy.
By pursuing these countries in the EU’s top court, Brussels is showing its determination to see this scheme carried out. It is also fueling a new clash between the EU body and important eastern bloc states.
“The European Commission has today decided to refer the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation,” the commission said in a statement. “This is why the commission has decided to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure and refer the three member states to the Court of Justice of the EU.”
The three countries claim that Brussels is attempting to interfere with their national sovereignty. They face heavy fines if they do not comply with any court ruling on their duty to accept refugees.
The continued disagreement over the refugee quota scheme has hampered attempts to reform the EU’s asylum policy, with EU leaders set to address the issue at a summit in Brussels on December 14-15.
source: AFP, Reuters