Hungary calls European Union court's refugee ruling 'appalling'

Hungary and Slovakia rejected the EU's decision to distribute migrants across member states

The European Union's top court ruled Wednesday that member states can be forced to take in asylum seekers, rejecting challenges by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of the system the EU began two years ago. Poland backed the Hungarian and Slovak complaint.

"I was convinced that such a decision would be made [by the court], but this absolutely does not change the stance of the Polish government with respect to migration policy", Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo said on Wednesday. Slovakia and Hungary insisted in their lawsuits that the quota mechanism should have been passed unanimously.

Hungarian and Polish leaders, in particular, often describe Muslim refugees as potential security threats.

"The EU-Turkey statement continues to work and deliver results", Avramopoulos said, adding that migrant arrivals in Greece from Turkey had dropped 97 per cent since the deal began in March 2016.

According to the International Organization for Migration, 125,860 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year.

But the Commission says "significant additional efforts" are needed to cut the asylum application backlog and improve processing in Greece so more people can be returned to Turkey.

'This decision practically and openly legitimates the power of the European Union above the member states'.

Poland intervened in support of Slovakia and Hungary, but the court rejected its challenge which complained about the burden relocation has on its virtually ethnically homogenous population.

Noted that the program voted Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic.

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Slovakia is not included in the legal action.

The court has further defended the policy stating that, "The small number of relocations so far carried out under the contested decision can be explained by a series of factors ... including, in particular, the lack of cooperation on the part of certain member states".

"Our position on quotas does not change", Fico said. He says he believes his country doesn't face any sanctions from the European Union over its stance.

Commenting on the ruling, Germany Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was a positive step that fully adhered to European values and law. He said "solidarity is not a one-way street". That entailed closer "relationships with key third countries like Niger and Libya, or simply providing cash to encourage governments to limit flows", she said, referring to funding for programs like job creation and for security measures to keep migrants from attempting the hazardous trip to Europe.

Under the emergency scheme, 120,000 relocations were due to take place over two years, ending in September 2017.

The Czechs, which has also been threatened with legal action for refusing to accept refugees under the quotas, ...

"Due to the ongoing instability and conflicts in the immediate neighborhood of Italy and Greece, and the repercussions in migratory flows on other member states, it is very likely that a significant and increased pressure will continue to be put on their migration and asylum systems, with a significant proportion of the migrants who may be in need of worldwide protection", the Court of Justice found Wednesday.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called migration the "Trojan Horse of terrorism".

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