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Poland-backed refugee quota complaints dropped by top European Union court

06 September 2017

The EU's top court has rejected a challenge by eastern European countries to a migrant relocation deal drawn up at the peak of the crisis in 2015.

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday Sept.6, 2017, rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme to relocate refugees.

Hungary and Slovakia argued at the Court of Justice that there were procedural mistakes, and that quotas were not a suitable response to the migrant crisis. "By today's judgment, the Court dismisses in their entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary", the court said in a statement.

European Union countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years, but only about 24,000 have been relocated so far.

The measures were legally taken by the EU Council and did not require ratification by individual governments, its news release said.

She called on European Union nations to "show solidarity with each other, and with asylum-seekers who are seeking protection in Europe". "The EU should not be funding a policy that only has the aim of getting rid of people".

Eastern European member states opposed the plan, saying they were not equipped to integrate people from mainly Muslim countries.

Under the emergency scheme, 120,000 relocations were due to take place over two years, ending in September 2017.

It was introduced as an exception to the so-called Dublin rules under which migrants must apply for asylum in the member state where they first land.

The Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an advocate for asylum-seekers, urged Hungary to give refugees an opportunity to make their case for asylum.

Recent figures show that fewer than 28,000 of the 160,000 relocation target has been met.

Under global and European law, countries are required to grant asylum to people fleeing war or persecution but not those classed as economic migrants.

In addition to outright opposition from eastern member states, other European Union member states have dragged their feet despite having voted for the plan.

The EU Commission has instigated legal challenges against Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic over their refusal to follow its directives on the issue which would force them to admit thousands of "refugees" to destroy their security and culture.

The EU has taken in more than 1.7 million people from the Middle East and Africa since 2014.

It also took legal action against the Czech Republic for having stopped taking them but spared Slovakia which agreed to take a handful of them.

Poland-backed refugee quota complaints dropped by top European Union court