A session of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Wednesday saw another chapter in the dispute between the European Commission and the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland over their refusal to accept asylum-seekers according to the EU mandatory quota from 2015.
Representing Poland was Bogusław Majczyna from the Foreign Ministry. He argued that the complaint is now irrelevant as the EU legislation expired in 2017.
Mr Majczyna also indicated that the refusal to accept refugees was caused by security concerns. As Poland attempted to admit 100 refugees in December 2015, he said, the inability to verify the identity of many of them made the process impossible. “Some of those people did not have any proof of identity whereas many were in possession of Syrian documents which were hard for us to verify,” Mr Majczyna said.
Representing the European Commission Zuzana Maluskova said that fulfilment of obligations lies at the core of EU membership.
“Duties must be fulfilled, it is a fundament of the rule of law in the European Union,” she said. “Solidarity of members is crucial.”
The final ruling over the dispute is still to come. Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice is to make a ruling in the case on July 29 this year. Although not binding, it may be taken into consideration by CJEU judges.
The final ruling is thus expected to be reached in the autumn.
According to the ruling from September 2015, EU member states were to allocate 120,000 refugees between themselves, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa, with Poland taking approximately 7,000 of them. In reality, only around 32,000 asylum-seekers were accepted. States such as Poland and Hungary, which refused to participate in the programme, were sued by the European Commission.