The EU has issued a 24-hour warning to Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland saying that they have to start taking in refugees under an EU migrant-sharing plan.
The three countries immediately rebuffed the threat and appeared ready to go to court.
The European Commission said in a statement that it has repeatedly urged them to relocate refugees or at least pledge to do so under the legally-binding refugee plan agreed two years ago.
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But it said they have failed to take action ‘in breach of their legal obligations,’ and that it “has decided to launch infringement procedures.”
The plan to share 160,000 refugees in overwhelmed Italy and Greece among other European countries over two years was endorsed in September 2015 by a qualified majority vote.
It was seen as a major plank of the EU’s migration policy, and was lauded as a pan-European show of solidarity in 2015 when more than a million people arrived in Europe seeking sanctuary or jobs.
But just three months before the September 2017 deadline, fewer than 21,000 people have been relocated. -AFP
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