Brussels to act against Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic for refusing to host refugees

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The European Commissioner for Immigration recalls that all Member States committed themselves and fulfill it is “an obligation”

Brussels to act against Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic for refusing to host refugees

A group of refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos, Greece (PEDRO ARMESTRE / pedro ardestre)

The European Commission (EC) announced Tuesday that it has opened infringement proceedings against Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic for breaching their obligations regarding the reception of refugees seeking asylum from Italy and Greece.

“We have exhausted all means in the last year and I have asked these countries to fulfill their commitments,” European Immigration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopulos told a news conference.

The EC is confident that these countries “can reconsider their position”

The Commissioner recalled that all Member States undertook to accommodate asylum seekers in Italy and Greece and that to comply with it is “an obligation”. At the same time, he hoped that those three countries “could reconsider their position”. According to Avramopulis, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic “have not done anything for a year” in relation to their obligations.

The Commission presented four progress reports on the measures taken in the framework of the European Immigration Agenda.

On the one hand, reports show that the rate of resettlement of asylum seekers from Italy and Greece has increased in 2017 and has allowed the transfer of 10,300 people since January, five times more than in the same period of 2016. Until 9 20,869 transfers had taken place (13,973 from Greece and 6,896 from Italy).

By September it will be possible to relocate all persons entitled to be transferred, 11,000 of whom are in Greece and about 2,000 in Italy

According to the EC, by September it will be possible to relocate all persons entitled to be transferred, 11,000 of whom are in Greece and about 2,000 in Italy. Brussels also recalled that the obligation of countries to host asylum-seekers will not cease after September.

On the other hand, the EC assessed the progress made in the resettlement of persons with refugee status and in countries outside the Union. This has allowed 16,429 people to be transferred (out of the 22,504 resettlements agreed), mainly from Turkey (6,254), but also from Jordan and Lebanon.

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