Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

Press conference by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC, on progress under the European Agenda on Migration
Date: 06/09/2017 Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont
© European Union , 2017. Source: EC – Audiovisual Service Photo: Georges Boulougouris

It was last Wednesday when the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia regarding their denial on relocating refugees from Greece and Italy. Both countries though do not intend to change their position on the issue.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned that there has been a lot of progress on dealing with the migration crisis the last two years. Mr Avramopoulos also stated that the “success of the relocation scheme will be measured against whether or not Member States relocate everyone eligible in Greece and in Italy”.

However, it seems that solidarity is still missing in the European Union as countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland have refused to contribute in sharing the burden of the crisis and receive refugees from Greece and Italy. Relocation targets set by the European Commission two year ago are going to fall short in September 26.

EU Court confirms the relocation decision

Slovakia and Hungary which had voted against the adoption of the decision to relocate migrants from Greece and Italy, had asked the Court of Justice to cancel the decision. Both countries had argued that the decision included procedural errors and that it was not the appropriate measure to tackle refugee crisis.

The EU Court of Justice turned down the actions of Slovakia and Hungary as the measures of the EU Council to support Greece and Italy with the relocation scheme could be implemented without any legislative procedure.  What is more, the EU court pointed out that the relocation scheme is not unsuitable to address this crisis. More specifically, it was said that: “Moreover, the Court considers that the relocation mechanism provided for by the contested decision is not a measure that is manifestly inappropriate for contributing to achieving its objective, namely helping Greece and Italy to cope with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis.”

EU progress on managing migration crisis

There have been fifteen reports reports so far regarding the progress of the migrants’ management. According to the EC, 27.695 persons have been relocated showing that results are been delivered but much more must be done by all EU member states. More in detail, European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans mentioned on the issue: “All EU actors have worked hard together to manage migration flows, to protect our external borders and to support the frontline Member States. We’re on the right track and the results can be seen on the ground. However, the challenges and risk factors of migration remain. So we must continue to improve our work to save lives, to put in place safe and legal pathways for those who deserve protection and to return those who have no right to stay.”

EU lacks solidarity

The fact that Slovakia, Hungary together with the Czech Republic and Poland are still against the relocation scheme, even after the decision of the EU court, clearly shows no EU solidarity. The reaction of the Hungarian Minister of Foreign affairs reveals the latter. Peter Szijjarto particularly called the ruling as “appalling and irresponsible”. He also said that: “Politics has raped European law and European values. This decision practically and openly legitimates the power of the EU above the member states. The real fight starts now.”

As the EU court’s decision is final, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic face heavy fines if they do not contribute to the relocation scheme and be referred to European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Merkel positive of resettlement procedure

The German Chancellor stated that she is optimistic regarding the relocation of the asylum seekers in the EU after the decision of the EU Court to annul the actions of Hungary and Slovakia. Angela Merkel said last week speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (F.A.S.) newspaper that: “The vast majority of EU states had not filed a complaint about redistribution and do not take the view that they never want to take in a refugee so I think there’s an opportunity to achieve a distribution of refugees that shows solidarity in the not too distant future.” Obviously, Angela Merkel doesn’t want to spoil her image just two weeks before the federal elections take place in Germany.

All in all, the EU is lacking solidarity despite the efforts of some countries to contribute to the relocation scheme. There are many countries such as Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium which have not yet reached their share of relocations. The EU has still a long way to go as countries like Slovakia, Poland, Hungary show nationalistic behaviours insisting of not helping in dealing with the migration crisis.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

FROM THE FIELD: India’s plastic waste revolution

Integration of migrants: Commission launches a public consultation and call for an expert group on the views of migrants

Human rights: breaches in Russia, the Rakhine State and Bahrain

How upskilling could help cities rebuild after Coronavirus

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

The female struggle in the face of medical devaluation

‘The welfare of the Libyan people’ the UN’s sole agenda for the country, says Guterres in Tripoli

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

How businesses can create an ethical culture in the age of tech

The challenge to be a good healthcare professional

Act now to prevent Desert Locust catastrophe in Horn of Africa: UN agencies

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

What is environmental racism?

Climate change: cutting the good by the root?

Guterres condemns killing of Bangladeshi peacekeeper in South Sudan, during armed attack on UN convoy

Venezuela’s needs ‘significant and growing’ UN humanitarian chief warns Security Council, as ‘unparalleled’ exodus continues

More than speed: 5G could become the next big economic driver

Asylum: more solidarity among EU member states and funds for frontline countries

European Commission requests that Italy presents a revised draft budgetary plan for 2019

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

Juncker’s Investment Plan in desperate need for trust and funds from public and private investors

Europe, US and Russia haggle over Ukraine’s convulsing body; Russians and Americans press on for an all out civil war

The “Colombo Declaration” adopted at the World Conference on Youth 2014

IMF: World cup and productivity

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

‘Great cause of concern’ UN chief tells Security Council, surveying ‘bleak’ state of civilian protection

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

If we want to solve climate change, water governance is our blueprint

The World Health Organization has called on countries to ‘test, test, test’ for coronavirus – this is why

EU budget: Commission helps prepare new Cohesion programmes with Regional Competitiveness Index and Eurobarometer

Catalonia secessionist leader takes Flemish ‘cover’; Spain risks more jingoist violence

Marriage equality boosted employment of both partners in US gay and lesbian couples

Europe had a record year for Measles – and it’s partly down to anti-vaccine campaigners

From Policy to Reality: Discrepancies in Universal Health Care Systems across the EU

AI looks set to disrupt the established world order. Here’s how

Early healthcare investment is our best chance at healthy ageing

The EU sides with China against the US; but has Germany capitulated to America?

Preserving biodiversity vital to reverse tide of climate change, UN stresses on International Day

Educate children in their mother tongue, urges UN rights expert

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

GDPR and the World Cup have these 4 things in common

Your chocolate can help save the planet. Here’s how

ECB embarks on the risky trip to Eurozone banking universe

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

Thinking like Leonardo da Vinci will help children tackle climate change

Parliament approves EU rules requiring life-saving technologies in vehicles

World Bank downgrades global growth forecasts, poorest countries hardest hit

What we need is more (and better) multilateralism, not less

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

How China Mended My Heart

Children are forgetting the names for plants and animals

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

The Ecofin deceives the SMEs with the EIB €10bn capital increase

Consumers suffer three defeats

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

The economic effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus around the world

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s