EU tak­ing Czech Repub­lic, Hun­gary and Poland to court

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation & World -

BRUS­SELS — The Euro­pean Union said Thurs­day that it is tak­ing the Czech Repub­lic, Hun­gary and Poland to court for fail­ing to ac­com­mo­date their fair share of refugees un­der a plan agreed to by the 28-coun­try bloc two years ago.

EU na­tions agreed in Septem­ber 2015 to re­lo­cate 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece as the coun­tries buck­led un­der the ar­rival of hun­dreds of thou­sands of mi­grants that year.

Un­der the plan, Hun­gary, Poland and the Czech Repub­lic were sup­posed to take in a com­bined 10,000 peo­ple.

But Hun­gary and Poland have taken none at all, while the Czech Repub­lic has ac­cepted 12.

The EU’S ex­ec­u­tive com­mis­sion sought rea­sons why but was given no sat­is­fac­tory ex­pla­na­tions.

The com­mis­sion said Thurs­day that the three “re­main in breach of their le­gal obli­ga­tions” and “have given no in­di­ca­tion that they will con­trib­ute to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­lo­ca­tion de­ci­sion.”

Their cases are be­ing re­ferred to Europe’s top tri­bunal, the Court of Jus­tice.

The refugee re­lo­ca­tion plan was adopted in a legally bind­ing vote by a ma­jor­ity of EU mem­ber states, but not the three re­fus­ing to take part.

The plan never worked well.

As of last week, only about 32,000 refugees had been re­lo­cated in all.

The dis­pute has high­lighted the deep di­vi­sions among Euro­peans over how best to han­dle the mi­grant wave in 2015, when more than 1 mil­lion peo­ple en­tered Europe, mostly from Turkey to the Greek is­lands and across the Mediter­ranean to Italy.

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