European Court of Justice to discuss Hungary’s rejection of asylum-seeker quota

January 5, 2018
Photo: Flickr/Andrew Gustar

Infringement proceedings against Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland have been officially referred to the European Court of Justice, reports.

The European Commission filed a lawsuit to the court against the three Eastern European Member States in December 2017 as they failed to enforce the EU’s resolution to distribute a total of some 120,000 asylum-seekers among all 28 Member States.

The European Council ordered their relocation in order to relieve Greece and Italy at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015. The EU’s Foreign Affairs Council made it compulsory on Member States to accept asylum-seekers according to a pre-defined quota system that took into account the population and economies of the various countries. Hungary would have had to process 1294 asylum applications.

Hungary and Slovakia attacked the decision in the European Court of Justice and eventually lost the lawsuit in September 2017. This left the three Eastern European countries with no other legal option but to enforce the resolution.

As the recalcitant trio showed no intention of accepting asylum-seekers despite the court’s final ruling, the European Commission filed a lawsuit against them that may eventually result in a fine.

The Hungarian government released a statement to state news agency MTI in which it accused the European Commission of employing double standards. The government argues that other Member States also failed to enforce the resolution but are not facing a legal proceeding.  In a separate statement, the governing Fidesz party warned that the compulsory resettlement quota is part of the so-called “Soros Plan” and asked the government (led by Fidesz chairman and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán) to “do everything it can to defend Hungary.”