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EU takes Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic to court

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The European Union is taking three of its member states to court for failing to accommodate their fair share of 160,000 refugees, reported Sky News (UK).

EU nations agreed in September 2015 to help relocate the migrants from Italy and Greece and under the plan Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were supposed to take in a combined 10,000 migrants.

However, Hungary and Poland took none in at all, while the Czech Republic accepted just 12 refugees.

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".

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

European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans said: "Going to court is always the instrument of last resort. That's not what we want.

"We hope we still find a way out through an act of participation by these three countries."

Newly appointed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has moved to stop the cases being referred to the European Court of Justice, telling local news agency CTK that he wanted to negotiate further with the EU.

He added that the system agreed two years ago was "nonsense" and only served to support the rising popularity of the continent's extremist parties.

His stance is likely to provoke further anger among other EU members who believe the three post-communist countries have failed to show sufficient solidarity with their peers and have threatened retribution, including siphoning away some of the funds the EU contributes to their development.

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Warsaw is ready to defend in court its refusal to accept migrants from Africa and the Middle East under an EU redistribution plan, Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said. He spoke after the EU executive sued Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic in the European Court of Justice on Thursday for refusing to host migrants, reported Russia Today.

“No one will lift the duty of providing public safety from the Polish government,” Szymanski told the PAP news agency. The government of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party said it will not admit migrants, citing security concerns following Islamist attacks in Western Europe and problems with ascertaining the identity of migrants.

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Hungarian PM, Mr. Orbán told public media earlier that “The musket is not only primed but loaded: in Europe in the future a permanent and mandatory migrant relocation quota mechanism will be established, with no upper limit on numbers: the mandatory relocation quota”. – posted kormany.hu website (Hungary)

The Prime Minister added that “The report isn’t about the current situation, but about the future, and it ignores the danger in migration’s link with terrorism and a decline in public safety; and they continue to seek to seize spheres of competence from Member States”.

“It is true that we are waist-deep in the struggle to protect this slice of our national sovereignty, but so far we have succeeded, because until now we have been the ones who decide who can live on Hungarian territory”, Mr. Orbán said, “but the attack on our sovereignty that the European Parliament has now launched is fiercer than any previous one”.

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Reporter: Denes Osvalt
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Category: Politics
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