EU presses ahead legal actions against Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland over migration

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-27 10:14

EU presses ahead legal actions against Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland over migration

European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos addresses a news conference at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, May 4, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

BRUSSELS - The European Commission pressed ahead on Wednesday to the second stage of legal actions against the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland over refugee sharing.

The Commission said it had sent "reasoned opinions", the second step in infringement procedures, to the three European Union (EU) member states for "non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation".

The three countries were given one month to respond, instead of the usual two-month deadline.

The move came a month and a half after the Commission launched infringement procedures by sending "letters of formal notice" to the three countries.

The Commission said the three countries' replies to the letter "have not been found satisfactory as none were accompanied by an indication that these member states would start relocating swiftly to their territory."

According to the Commission, Poland and Hungary haven't taken in any refugees since September 2015, when EU member states pledged to relocate a total of 160,000 migrants from Greece and Italy within two years. The Czech Republic has not relocated anyone since August 2016 and has not made any new promises for over a year.

If the three counties still refuse to comply, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice, which may impose financial penalties on them.

As of July 24, the total number of relocations stands at 24,676, of which 16,803 from Greece, 7,873 from Italy, according to the latest Commission report on the relocation of refugees released Wednesday.

As for resettlement, 17,179 persons have been resettled since July 2015, when member states agreed to resettle a total of 22,504 asylum seekers.

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