- Title: EU court says Eastern states cannot refuse to take refugees
- Date: 6th September 2017
- Summary: LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG (FILE - JANUARY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF EUROPEAN COURT OF JUSTICE SIGN READING (French): "Court of Justice of the European Union"
- Embargoed: 20th September 2017 10:52
- Keywords: court ruling Slovakia Hungary obligatory relocation of asylum seekers refugee and migrant crisis border resettlement scheme
- Location: LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / BARANJSKO PETROVO SELO, CROATIA / ROZSKE HUNGARY
- City: LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG / BARANJSKO PETROVO SELO, CROATIA / ROZSKE HUNGARY
- Country: Luxembourg
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016XGKH8N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The European Union's top court dismissed complaints on Wednesday (September 6) by Slovakia and Hungary about EU migration policy, upholding Brussels' right to force member states to take in asylum seekers.
In the latest twist to a divisive dispute that broke out two years ago when over a million migrants poured across the Mediterranean, the European Court of Justice found that the EU was entitled to order national governments to take in quotas of mainly Syrian refugees relocated from Italy and Greece.
The programme set up by the executive European Commission was approved by majority vote of member states in the face of opposition from formerly communist countries in the east who said their societies could not absorb mainly Muslim immigrants.
It provided for the relocation of up to 160,000 people, but only some 25,000 have so far been moved.
The EU has taken in more than 1.7 million people from the Middle East and Africa since 2014. But, after a mass influx in 2015, numbers have gone down steadily following actions last year that all but closed the route from Turkey to Greece and from Greece to the Balkans and northern Europe. The EU has also increased support for Libya to curb arrivals in Italy.
Hungary and Poland have refused to host a single person under the 2015 sharing scheme, while Slovakia and the Czech Republic have each taken in only a dozen or so.
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