A preliminary decision by an adviser to the EU’s top court could set an unfavorable precedent for Hungary, Slovakia and their allies as a heated legal battle brews between Brussels and Eastern European nations over ‘refugee’ resettlement quotas.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) – the highest court dealing with EU laws – has been recommended to reject arguments brought forth by Budapest and Bratislava, who contend that mandatory quotas are unlawful.
“The contested decision automatically helps to relieve the considerable pressure on the asylum systems of Italy and Greece following the migration crisis in the summer of 2015 and… is thus appropriate for attaining the objective which it pursues,” said the ECJ’s Advocate General, Yves Bot, in Luxembourg on Wednesday.
The EU’s Commissioner For Migrant Affairs, Dimitri Avramopoulos, praised Bot’s opinion, saying, “None of the arguments they put forward justify that they don’t implement the relocation decision.”
“One thing is very clear: relocation works if the political will is there,” he added. “Our objective is and remains to ensure that the people eligible are relocated by end September 2017.”
Hungary and Slovakia have both responded to Bot’s ruling, with Hungarian Justice Minister, Pal Volner, stating, “The main elements of the statement are political, which are practically used to disguise the fact that there are no legal arguments in it.”
“We claim that the decision approved by the Council of Interior Ministers is at odds with the European Council’s decision that the mandatory quotas will not be adopted,” said Slovakian President, Robert Fico, in a statement, adding that Bot’s decision is “non-binding.” full story