Next Czech PM wants the Commission to withdraw quota lawsuit

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 11.12.2017 00:50

Czech Prime Minister-designate Andrej Babiš said on 9 December in an interview with the Právo daily that the new government must negotiate with the European Commission a withdrawal of the charges against the country over the refugee relocation quotas from 7 December.

Babiš, describing the scheme as ‘nonsensical’, called for a solution outside of the EU and rejected accepting any refugees. Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans said on 7 December that the legal action against the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary was the last resort to deal with the violation of legal commitments by the three V4 countries. Although Slovakia has admitted 16 Syrian refugees under the mechanism (only four more than Czechia), it is absent from the lawsuit due to its willingness to continue the programme. Czech Interior Minister Milan Chovanec defended the Czech stance, claiming a lack of qualified asylum seekers. Nonetheless, most of the EU members have continued the relocation scheme. The EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos to dismissed all arguments of the three countries as unjustified.  

On 4 December, Hungary rejected the newest plan of Estonian EU chairmanship to reform the relocation mechanism with a compromise. Budapest is currently dealing with two other infringement procedures concerning laws on foreign-funded NGOs and universities.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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