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EU Court Rejects Bid By Hungary And Slovakia To Avoid Taking Migrants

07 September 2017

"The Hungarian government considers today's decision by the European court to be appalling and irresponsible", Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a news conference. Slovakia and Hungary denounced the plan at the time, citing their heterogeneous population, with a largely single ethnic representation, as an extra burden in resettling refugees.

Under global and European law, countries are required to grant asylum to people fleeing war or persecution but not those classed as economic migrants, the EU designation for most sub-Saharan Africans. The European Council's decision in September 2015 provided for 120,000 people "in clear need of global protection" to be relocated from Italy and Greece to other EU member states.

But the warning was met with a furious response by Eastern European countries who have opposed the system, highlighting escalating splits over how to deal with the ongoing migration crisis.

Photo Migrants waited in August to be rescued in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Fico said the scheme was a temporary solution that will end on September 26.

The agreement provided for the relocation of up to 160,000 people across member states, but only about 25,000 have been transferred so far.

A looming question is whether the commission will renew the relocation program in defiance of countries like Hungary.

Mr Orban has made the fight against immigration and what he calls European Union meddling the key planks of his bid for re-election next year, and he has found allies in a Warsaw government that is clashing with Brussels over its push to exert more control over the judiciary, media and other areas of Polish life.

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Ms. Collett said Europe's leaders were increasingly focused on an effort to stop migrants from trying to get to Europe in the first place.

"The lesson of the verdict is that helping people fleeing war and terror is truly a common responsibility for Europe", the group said.

The European Union's top court has slapped down attempts by Hungary and Slovakia to block the relocation of thousands of asylum seekers. That measure, including payments of up to €6 billion to help Turkey manage its refugee population and a pledge to reinvigorate talks on the possibility of Turkey joining the bloc, slowed the flow across the Aegean route to a trickle.

Hungary's government built security fences on its borders with Serbia and Croatia two years ago to stop refugees and migrants entering the country along the so-called "Balkan route" from Turkey to Germany.

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

EU Court Rejects Bid By Hungary And Slovakia To Avoid Taking Migrants