Hungary, Slovakia sue migrant quotas at ECJ
13 May, 2017
Hungary and Slovakia filed a joint case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last Wednesday against the EU's refugee distribution scheme. "One of the main arguments is the incorrect legal basis," said Krisztian Kecsmar, a Hungarian justice ministry official. "It is a matter of institutional equilibrium, what role the institutions play in decision-making."
Poland’s representative stated in the courtroom to back Slovakia and Hungary. He said accepting migrants and refugees could pose a threat to national security. Ranged against the easterners in court were Germany, France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Greece and the European Commission, which argued that the fundamental principle of EU solidarity was at stake in the case, Reuters reported. "The answer you will give to this question will have significance that goes way beyond this case," German representative Ralf Kanitz told the court.
Some 1.6m migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean and entered the EU since in 2014. The EU proposed in 2015 redistributing just 120,000 of them to help relieve pressure on frontline states Italy and Greece. The quota system was agreed by EU in a majority vote against the will of four eastern states. Italy's former PM Matteo Renzi has called for funding cuts for EU states which refuse to take in refugees.
The tribunal's advocate general will present on 26 July an opinion on the case, which may be indicative of the ruling that is expected this autumn. Frontex reports around 350,000 migrants entered the EU so far this year.