7 September 2017
Clear answer from the ECJ on refugee relocation. Now we need mechanisms that effectively enforce European law.
Commenting on the decision of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to dismiss Hungary and Slovakia’s challenge to the migrant relocation system, European Green Party co-chair Monica Frassoni said:
"Today the Court of Justice has given a clear answer to those governments, particularly those from the Visegrad Group, who expect to receive funds and support from the European Union without respecting the rule of law and the obligations of solidarity. The Court's decision should also serve as a push for other countries to do more, as they hide behind the position of eastern-European member states in order to escape their commitments in full or in part.
"We welcome the approval of a new relocation mechanism for 2018. However, we must not forget that the current mechanism had established the relocation of 160,000 people between member states, of which only 27,645 have so far been transferred. This is a largely insufficient result that has had a tremendous impact in determining a growing hostility to migrants and refugees in Italy and Greece: those who feel that they do not receive the solidarity of others will be less inclined to give it themselves.
"We want the Court's decision to contribute towards putting at the centre of the debate the issue of migration governance – and not just that of reducing migration flows - on the basis of the principles of solidarity and shared responsibility among all countries, not just among those of first arrival.
"To govern migration also means to implement policies of cooperation with third countries that are not only aimed at financing the closure of borders, but also at creating opportunities for real growth. In Europe this means to follow an economic policy that goes beyond austerity, abandons the arms trade and opts for a Green economy.
"It is now necessary for mechanisms to follow and effectively enforce European law, even by imposing financial sanctions if national governments ignore it. Moreover, we believe these sanctions should not only be applied to those member states that do not comply at all with their assigned quotas, but also those that comply only partially, such as France (3,478 transfers out of the agreed 19,713) and Spain (only 10% of the quota of 15,000 people).
"Most importantly, there must be a decisive acceleration on the reform of the Dublin Regulation, in order to finally change an ineffective and unfair mechanism that ignores the wishes of asylum seekers and causes situations of growing unease and illegality."