EU court advised to reject Hungary, Slovakia refugee case

AP
EU court should dismiss lawsuits filed by Hungary and Slovakia challenging a European Council decision that the countries have to mandatorily take in hundreds of asylum-seekers
AP
Santi Palacios / AP

Sub saharan migrants sit on the deck of the vessel of Proactiva Open Arms after being rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, about 15 miles north of Sabratha, Libya on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

The European Court of Justice should dismiss lawsuits filed by Hungary and Slovakia challenging a European Council decision that the countries have to mandatorily take in hundreds of asylum-seekers, a court adviser said Wednesday.

Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Romania voted against the 2015 decision establishing a temporary plan to relocate 120,000 migrants. Under the plan, Hungary would have to temporarily take in 1,294 asylum-seekers and Slovakia, 902.

Poland, which should take in 6,182 asylum-seekers, supported the positions of Hungary and Slovakia in the case.

Advocate General Yves Bot, whose role is to propose non-binding legal solutions for court in cases under his purview, rejected arguments from Slovakia and Hungary regarding the legality of the relocation plan. The advocate general's position is often indicative of what ruling the court will likely make.

Among his opinions, Bot considered that the European Council could adopt the plan even though it was contested by some countries and that national parliaments were not required to take part in the decision.

"The contested decision automatically helps relieve the considerable pressure on the asylum systems of Italy and Greece following the migration crisis in the summer of 2015," Bot said in his opinion issued in Luxembourg.

The court has started deliberating on the case.

The relocation plan has had limited success so far. As of July 21, 7,675 asylum-seekers had been relocated from Italy and 16,774 from Greece.

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