The European Union (EU) told Hungary and Poland they face legal action if their populist governments continue refusing to take a share of illegal immigrants from the third world.
Warsaw and Budapest have strongly opposed the bloc’s migration scheme, which seeks to move 160,000 people from Italy and Greece into other EU nations. Fewer than 20,000 people have been resettled so far even though the programme is due to end in September this year.
“If Member States do not increase their relocations soon, the Commission will not hesitate to make use of its powers … for those which have not complied,” the bloc’s executive arm said in a statement.
Italy, along with Germany, Sweden, Austria, and France have been vocal in demanding the EU cut subsidies to Hungary and Poland for the countries’ refusal to welcome migrants.
The European Commission had proposed to punish states unwilling to host migrants, but Reuters reports that officials in Brussels are split on whether to open legal proceedings against Hungary and Poland.
Whilst some believe the former Communist nations should be punished for “undermining the bloc’s solidarity”, others argue that action would have to be taken against almost every nation in the EU state since so many cut corners on various agreements. according to the news agency.
Hungary has filed a lawsuit against the legality of the relocation scheme, insisting that it is culturally and constitutionally unreasonable to impose asylum seekers on unwilling member states. A hearing is due on 10 May.
Referring to policies of importing large numbers of people from the third world, Orbán has previously stated that Hungary and other countries in Central Europe “have had the opportunity to learn from Western Europe’s mistakes.
“Hungary is a stable island in the turbulent western world because the people were consulted on their opinions here, and we defended the country against illegal immigration.”
Earlier this month, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło also said the nation will resist “blackmail” from the EU over forced asylum seeker redistribution and continue with its “sensible” migration policy.
Brussels has been demanding the central European nation takes in 6,200 people by September this year.