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Hungary’s Justice Minister Judit Varga, commenting on a European court ruling against Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic for refusing to apply EU migrant quotas, said the European Commission had “obviously” acted in a discriminative manner when only three member states were subjected to the procedure.
Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic failed to fulfil their obligations under laws of the European Union when they “refused to comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection”, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) said in a ruling. The court said that the three 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”.
The European Council stipulated in 2015 that Hungary should take over 1,264 asylum seekers, a decision which Hungary and Slovakia appealed against. The European court, however, dismissed the appeal in September 2017 and the European Commission sued Hungary in January 2018. The EU’s temporary mechanism was aimed at easing the situation in Greece and Italy, struggling with hundreds of thousands of asylum applications at a peak time of the migration wave. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic refused to comply saying that passing decisions concerning their internal security was a national competency.
Varga said the EC’s actions had since lost legal ground because the “quota decrees” were only in force until the autumn of 2017, so the “ruling has no consequence”, she added. “The procedure only harmed the EU refugee system because the migration crisis still cannot be resolved by a mandatory transfer of asylum seekers,” she said.