Pittella on ECJ ruling on relocation: Hungary and Slovakia must finally accept system and share responsibility for protecting refugees

Migration

Speaking after the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to dismiss the appeal by the Hungarian and Slovakian governments against the relocation of refugees, S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:

“Instead of relocating a few hundred refugees in desperate need of protection the governments of Hungary and Slovakia spent a year fighting a legally binding decision of the European Council. Budapest and Bratislava must now meet their responsibilities and relocate the refugees they are legally obliged to. If they or any other Member State fails to do so the Commission must get serious and sanction them.

“Solidarity works both ways – it is a disgrace that Victor Orban on the one hand demands new funds from the EU to build a pointless wall while shunning the responsibilities that come with EU membership. Instead of constantly defending Mr Orban's inexcusable actions, Manfred Weber needs to finally act for Europe and kick Fidesz out of the EPP Group.

"This decision is a landmark for the EU. We must use this as an opportunity to bring wholesale change to our asylum and migration policies. We need to now make the relocation scheme permanent, with consequences for Member States that refuse to take their fair share of refugees. We must also finally reform the Dublin system, under which refugees must apply for asylum in the first EU Member State they reach, and replace it with a centralised European system that allocates refugees in a fair and transparent way.”