EU threatens legal action against Poland over refugees
PR dla Zagranicy
The European Commission on Wednesday threatened legal action against EU member states including Poland that refuse to accept the bloc's refugee quota system.
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Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU executive would consider taking Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary to the European Court of Justice unless they start complying with the bloc’s refugee relocation decisions in the next few weeks.
“If the member states do not change their approach in the coming weeks we should then consider to take the last step in the infringement procedure: to refer Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to the European Court of Justice,” Avramopoulos said at a press conference in Brussels.
He also said that “the door … is still open, and we should convince all member states to fulfill their commitments. But we should be clear that member states have to show solidarity now because it is now that some member states need help.”
Earlier in the day, judges at the European Court of Justice dismissed a legal challenge against EU refugee quotas from Hungary and Slovakia.
In late August, the Polish Foreign Ministry said it was ready to defend its position on refugees in an EU court.
In September 2015, EU leaders agreed that each country would accept a number of migrants over two years to alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy, which have seen the arrival of tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa.
EU leaders agreed to relocate a total of about 160,000 migrants of more than 2 million people who arrived in Europe since 2015.
Poland and Hungary have not accepted any refugees as part of an EU programme to relocate migrants fleeing the war-torn Middle East and Africa from camps in Italy and Greece, while the Czech Republic has taken no action in nearly a year.
The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) government in Warsaw has said that migrants pose a security threat.
The refugee quota spat is one of a slew of disputes between Brussels and Warsaw.
Procedures against Poland’s alleged “illegal” logging in the Białowieża Forest are under way, and the European Commission has also launched procedures over sweeping judicial changes. (gs/pk)