Poland, Hungary and Czechia broke EU law by refusing asylum seekers
Poland, Hungary and Czechia broke EU law by refusing to comply with mandatory quotas for relocating asylum seekers, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled.
The three EU member states can rely neither on their responsibilities concerning the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security, nor on the alleged malfunctioning of the relocation mechanism, to avoid implementing that mechanism, judges said.
In the judgment, delivered yesterday, the court upheld the actions brought by the European Commission against the member states for failure to fulfil obligations.
First, the court concluded that there had been an infringement, by the three EU member states concerned, of a decision adopted by the Council with a view to the relocation, on a mandatory basis, from Greece and Italy of 120,000 applicants for international protection to other member states.
Secondly, the court found that Poland and Czechia had also failed to fulfil their obligations under an earlier decision that the Council had adopted with a view to the relocation, on a voluntary basis, from Greece and Italy of 40,000 applicants for international protection to other member states.
The relocation decisions had been taken by the Council of the European Union at the height of the European refugee crisis in September 2015.
Pursuant to those decisions, Poland indicated in December 2015 that 100 people could be relocated to its territory. However, it did not relocate those people and it did not make any subsequent relocation commitment.
Hungary, for its part, did not at any point indicate a number of people who could be relocated to its territory pursuant to the relocation decision by which it was bound and did not relocate any people.
Lastly, in February and in May 2016, Czechia had indicated, pursuant to the relocation decisions, that 50 people could be relocated to its territory. A total of 12 people were relocated from Greece, but Czechia did not make any subsequent relocation commitment.