Europe divided over migrant quota

(VOVWORLD) - The European Court of Justice has rejected a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia to a migrant relocation plan between EU countries. The court said the scheme seeks to help Greece and Italy deal with the 2015 migrant crisis. But the court ruling has sparked tension and deepened the split between EU members.
Europe divided over migrant quota  - ảnh 1

Under the ruling of September, Hungary was asked to take more than 1,200 refugees, and Slovakia 800.

Migrant quota was opposed 2 years ago

EU members have been divided since 2015 when the EU approved a scheme to relocate 160,000 migrants among member states over two years. At that time, the European Court of Justice asked EU members to jointly address the issue and take a certain number of migrants depending on their capacity. Germany was asked to take 20%, France 15%, and Hungary and Slovakia from 1-2%. Though the quota was approved by the EU with a majority vote in September, 2015, central and eastern European countries including Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary voted against it. By July, only 20,000 migrants had been relocated, 4,000 to Germany, 3,700 to France, 1,600 to the Netherlands and 1,200 to Sweden. Hungary and Poland have not taken any refugee under the scheme. The Czech Republic has refused to take any for the past year. Slovakia has accepted a small number.

Central and Eastern European countries have a number of reasons for refusing to take asylum seekers. They say imposing migrant quotas on sovereign countries is unacceptable. They are poor countries. More importantly, they are worried about potential security threats. A number of recent attacks in western Europe including attacks in the UK and Germany have stoked fears of similar attacks in central and eastern Europe.

Europe continued division over migrant quota

The ruling of the European Court of Justice highlighted the splitting Europe.  Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said his country's position on quotas "does not change" and that Slovakia will continue its fight. Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the ruling "appalling and irresponsible" threatening the security and future of Europe. Czech President Milos Zeman said he refuses to accept refugees even if the Czech Republic were to be paid to take them by European institutions. He said Prague will join efforts to address the crisis in some way other than accepting migrants. The Czech Republic has deployed more than 1,100 policemen to defend its border and ensure security.

The President of the European Committee Jean Claude Junger warned that countries that opposed the scheme will lose financial support for the management of migrant flows. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic will face heavy fines for their refusal to relocate refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that those who reject the scheme will be dropped from other initiatives. She said no solidarity in addressing the migrant issue means no solidarity in other areas.

Division between EU members over the relocation of migrants has obstructed the EU’s commitment to ease burdens for Greece and Italy, the frontline countries who have taken migrants since 2015.