ECJ ruling on relocation scheme: EU Commission must get tough on boycotting Member States
The Greens/EFA group has called on the European Commission to take strong action against any Member State that continues to boycott the EU’s refugee relocation scheme. The call follows a crucial ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), rejecting Hungary and Slovakia’s objections to the legal basis for the program.
There must be consequences for countries that refuse to show solidarity, says Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller.
“This ruling is a milestone for European refugee policy. The European Court of Justice has shown that solidarity is at the heart of our common refugee policy in Europe. There can be no more excuses. Any Member State that has refused to help relocate asylum seekers must finally deliver or face consequences.
“Solidarity in the EU cannot be a one-way street. The likes of Viktor Orban cannot continue to demand money for border protection while continuing to block the reception of refugees from Greece and Italy. If Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic continue to refuse to accept refugees, the European Commission must consider ending EU subsidies for the return of rejected asylum seekers. The EU should not be funding a policy that only has the aim of getting rid of people."
Relocation - the current state of play
Recent figures show that fewer than 28,000 of the 160,000 relocation target has been met. The Commission is due to publish its fifteenth Report on Relocation and Resettlement today.
Ska Keller was the European Parliament's rapporteur for the relocation of refugees from Italy and Greece. In June, she and S&D leader Gianni Pittella wrote to the European Council asking for immediate action to reform the Dublin system and open legal channels for migrants and refugees – see press release.