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Brussels brings to justice three European countries for incompliance with refugee quotas

Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic face fines for not hosting asylees

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Brussels brings to justice three European countries for incompliance with refugee quotas

Brussels sees no more room for dialogue with countries that fail to fulfil ir duty to host refugees. The European Commission has sent Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic to EU Court of Justice for defaulting on mandatory quota regime approved in 2015, as confirmed this Thursday in a statement. The Community executive had opened a record last June and countries have refused to change ir position ever since. Now it will be European court that decides if y have violated law and if it imposes any penalty.

The controversial refugee-sharing programme generated a strong rejection in part of Member States, especially in Eastern bloc. Although no EU country has fully complied with reception of asylum-seekers on Greek and Italian shores – territories with greatest pressure of arrivals- absolute refusal of some to participate took Brussels to take action. "Although EU Court of Justice has confirmed validity of relocation programme in its decision of 6 September, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland continue to comply with ir legal obligations," Commission argues to justify passage to Next phase of process.

To avoid criticism of political intervention, community executive opened a record to a country of every political sensibility: Poland, of ultranationalist Jaroslaw Kaczynski party; Hungary, of European People's Party, and Czech Republic, n of Social democratic prime Minister, although today it is directed by a populist billionaire affiliated with Liberal Party. The three countries rejected being part of scheme that sought to relocate 160,000 people from Greece and Italy to rest of Member States in two years. The program expired last September with less than 30,000 refugees relocated.

The decision is now in hands of EU Court of Justice, whose decisions are binding. The highest judicial body of Community club may decide to impose a fine. The Commission wanted to come to end to make it clear that quotas are part of European legislation (y were approved by Member States by qualified majority, with opposite vote of Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania) and to ignore Law is not an option. In practice, obligatory system of refugee relocation in crisis situations has become wet paper.

by consensus only

The Council — it represents Member States — has been debating for months how to reconcile idea of solidarity with asylum-seekers and responsibility for border policing. The various semi-annual presidencies of EU have sought formulas of agreement that would oblige all Member States to participate in two commitments. The President of Council, Donald Tusk, now wants to unlock dossier and propose that it can be approved next June, with a fundamental change in wording: re will be no compulsory quotas for anyone. Everything will be voluntary, albeit with incentives to participate in se commitments.

The Heads of State and Government will discuss Tusk's proposal at summit next week. No decisions are expected — y will come as soon as six months — but discussion is going to help to see how two sides are taking idea: on one hand, a group of states led by Germany and Italy, supporters of relocation involving all European countries, and on or, states like those affected by dossier that opened Brussels, which allege reasons of national sovereignty to refuse to accept a European policy which y consider harmful.

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