The European Commission has launched infringement proceedings against members of the so-called ‘Visegrád Four’. The loose alliance of four Central European countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary – had been refusing to take refugees as part of an EU quota system (though Slovakia has since pledged to take in more).
Over 11,000 refugees have been assigned to the Visegrád Four nations as part of the EU’s emergency relocation scheme, but only 28 people have actually been settled so far. Hungary and Slovakia have challenged the mandatory nature of the scheme at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), though their challenge was dismissed by the court in September 2017 (the ECJ described the scheme as ‘proportionate’).
In June 2017, the Commission took the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to the ECJ over their failure to accept refugees. If the court rules against them, then financial penalties can potentially be imposed. The Visegrád Four argue that, as well as being an infringement of their sovereignty, the relocation scheme raises security and integration concerns.Curious to know more about EU infringement proceedings against the Visegrád Four countries? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).
On 14 September 2017, we hosted – together with Euronews – a live YouTube interview with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. This is the second year in a row we have hosted the #AskJuncker event, and ahead of the interview we asked our readers to send us in comments and questions to be put to President Juncker.
We had a question sent in from Miguel, who asked: “What is the EU [doing] to prevent further rifts between the Commission and the Visegrad Four?” What would EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker say?
Should the EU Commission sue countries refusing to take refugees? Does the EU’s emergency relocation scheme infringe sovereignty, or is it proportionate to the challenge posed by the refugee crisis? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!