On Tuesday 13 May, the European Commission announced, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the launch of an infringement procedure against three Member States of the European Union (Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic). These States did not comply with their legal obligations stated in the European Agenda on Migration adopted in 2015, created to stabilise the migration flows and better manage external borders.
The European Commission has already warned these countries several times and declared last May that if no action is taken by June 2017, that procedures would be launched against them. Some other Member States like France support the action of the European Commission and insist on the necessity to respect legal obligations, especially when dealing with security.
Since January 2017, almost 10,300 persons have been relocated and the total number of relocations since the beginning of the program is 20,869 (13,973 from Greece and 6,898 from Italy). All other Member States are contributing to the effort to relocate people from Italy and Greece. They will have to continue their actions and intensify their efforts.
In terms of resettlement, 16,419 of the 22,504 resettlements agreed upon in 2015 have been completed. In May 2017, almost 1,000 refugees from Syria were able to come to Europe through safe and legal ways under the EU-Turkey Statement.
To date, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have not yet taken the necessary actions:
Hungary and Poland have not yet relocated a single person. The Czech Republic has only relocated 12 people since September 2015. These three States still refuse to participate in the European program concerning asylum seekers from Italy and Greece.
The Commission requires these countries’ compliance with their legal obligations and has insisted on the necessity to accelerate the efficient roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard plan.
Today, Wednesday 14 June, these three Member States will receive an official notification on the launch of the infringement procedure. This notification constitutes the first step. If no solution is found, the matter could be brought before the European Court of Justice (Luxembourg) and may lead to financial penalties.
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitri Avramopoulos said: « Our Union is based on solidarity and the sharing of responsibility. These fundamental values apply to all our policies and migration is no exception. We cannot and we will not leave those Member States with an external border on their own. And when it comes to relocation, let me be crystal clear: the implementation of the Council Decisions on relocation is a legal obligation, not a choice. »