European Union threatens legal action against Poland over refugees

European Union threatens legal action against Poland over refugees

Earlier in the day, judges at the European Court of Justice dismissed a legal challenge against EU refugee quotas from Hungary and Slovakia.

Many of these people arrive in the European Union in Spain, Greece, and Italy due because of their geographical location - putting pressure on those states, also hit by economic crisis, to care for them.

Poland, which has not lodged a complaint with the ECJ, nor did it vote against the measure in 2015 under its previous government, also vowed not to change its opposition to the quota policy.

The burden sharing agreement was struck despite the EU's so-called Dublin rules, which requires immigrants to apply for asylum in their country of first arrival.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo also rejected the ECJ's ruling, saying that Poland will hold firm to its position on asylum seekers and refugees. Hungary and Slovakia (which accepted quota system but took in few refugees than mandated) brought the case to ECJ that will announce its ruling on the issue today, which will be released around 7:30 GMT. The government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has taken the stance that Hungary has the right to refuse entry to the primarily Muslim asylum seekers and refugees, claiming they threaten the country's cultural identity.

The European Commission has already launched an "infringement procedure" against the three nations for failing to take, or not recently accepting, refugees who have arrived in Italy and Greece in the last two years.

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It is part of a scheme to relocate a total of 160,000 asylum seekers by September this year.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Wednesday that arrangement "continues to work and deliver results", the AP reports.

"We fully respect the verdict of the European Court of Justice", Fico told reporters, but added that his government still views the system of quotas imposed by Brussels negatively.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said "politics has raped European law and values" in response to Wednesday's ruling. But he said his government still is not happy with the relocation plan, which he and others from Eastern Europe see as being imposed on their countries by non-elected European Union bureaucrats.

The case has highlighted a deep divide in the European Union as it has fumbled for a joint solution to the mass arrivals that have strained resources, roiled politics, and prompted outcries from human rights defenders who warn that the bloc risks violating worldwide law on the treatment of refugees.

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