EU court dismisses action over refugee quotas

8 Sep 17

The European Court of Justice has ruled EU member states must take in refugees who reach Europe, dismissing Slovakia and Hungary’s actions against EU asylum quotas. 

Following the European migration crisis in 2015, the European Union’s migration relocation scheme was issued to move 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other member states.

Both countries, along with Czech Republic and Romania, voted against the decision to adopt migration policies in September 2015. They claimed that it was illegal for Brussels to order them to take in refugees, which they said threatened their countries security and society stability. 

The court said in a press release that it dismissed “in their entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary”.

While Poland backed the case of Slovakia and Hungary, Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and the European Commission argued in support of the council, the press release said.

Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and trade Péter Szijjártó said: “The position of the Hungarian government is that the ruling issued by the European Court of Justice in the migrant quota case is outrageous and irresponsible.”

The original plan’s target to relocate 120,000 asylum seekers was amended to 54,000 when places were used to resettle Syrian refugees in Turkey.  In July, 23% of the original figure of 120,000 places had been filled.

The court said in a statement: “That mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate.”

The scheme, which is due to be succeeded this month, has taken place over two years and the EU budget has provided financial support to the member states participating. The European Commission stated that member states legal obligation does not end. 

Szijjártó said: “To date, Hungary has undertaken all of the related costs and expenses alone, and is showing solidarity towards Western Balkan countries that are also protecting their borders.

“In contrast, the European Commission is not funding border protection, but only the admission of illegal immigrants”.

So far 27,695 persons have been relocated, with an average of 2,300 transfers per month since February 2017, a from the European Commission stated.

Earlier this year, the European Commission urged EU member states to deliver on promises to take on refugees and said there were “no more excuses”.

According to the , 19,200 people have been relocated from Greece and 8,212 from Italy.  Germany, France and Sweden have taken in the most asylum seekers. 

Did you enjoy this article?

Related articles

Have your say


CIPFA latest


Most commented

Events & webinars