The European court obliged Slovakia and Hungary to accept refugees

Hungary Closes Border With Croatia Migrants Flood Into Tiny Slovenia

At issue is a quota system adopted by the European Union to help Italy and Greece amid the 2015 migration crisis.

"The Council of the European Union adopted a decision in order to help Italy and Greece deal with the massive inflow of migrants", the court said in a statement Wednesday.

So far less than 28,000 people have been relocated in the face of opposition from several Eastern European countries notably Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Slovakia and Hungary which, like the Czech Republic and Romania, voted against the adoption of the contested decision in the Council, and asked the ECJ to annul the decision.

Juncker also noted in his letter that "another form of European solidarity is represented by the EU's regional funds", and that the EU funds that Hungary will be receiving between 2014 and 2020 amount to more than 3 percent of its GDP, a percentage that is higher than for any other EU countries.

Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto slammed Wednesday's ruling - which is final an can not be appealed - calling it "appalling and irresponsible" and vowed to use all legal means against the judgement, which he said was "the result of a political decision".

Slovakia and Hungary argued the European Union broke its own rules and exceeded its powers when it approved the quota system with a "qualified majority", or about two-thirds vote.


The fences have mostly stopped refugees from passing through Hungary on their way to western Europe but Hungary has also greatly reduced the chances for asylum seekers to submit applications for protection in the country. All the three countries, partners of Slovakia within the Visegrad Group, are facing legal action from the European Commission.

Hungary accused the Luxembourg court of making an "outrageous and irresponsible" politically driven decision.

Slovakia has accepted about 16 refugees as of July 2017.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo also rejected the ECJ's ruling, saying that Poland will hold firm to its position on asylum seekers and refugees.

The case has highlighted a deep divide in the European Union as it has fumbled for a joint solution to the mass arrivals that have strained resources, roiled politics, and prompted outcries from human rights defenders who warn that the bloc risks violating worldwide law on the treatment of refugees.

The commission said on Wednesday that 27,695 asylum seekers have been relocated so far from Greece (19,244) and Italy (8,451).

Budapest announced at the end of August that it will extend the state of emergency declared previous year over the migrant crisis until March 2018, while Hungarian government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said that the "threat of terrorism in Europe has increased", thus justifying increased border controls, according to The Associated Press.

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