Eastern Europian countries oppose EU quota plan
A controversial plan by the European Union (EU) to relocate 120,000 refugees has sparked fierce opposition from certain eastern and central European countries, revealing the lack of consensus in the bloc over the issue.
During an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, interior ministers of the European Union adopted by majority a resolution to distribute some 120,000 refugees among the member states, a decision which irked some central and eastern European nations, namely the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, which oppose the mandatory quotas in sharing the refugee exodus.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said his country will refuse to implement the plan.
“As long as I am prime minister, mandatory quotas will not be implemented on Slovak territory,” Fico told the parliament’s EU affairs committee.
He also said that he was ready to break the EU’s rules rather than implement the quota.
The Czech Republic also said that it is sticking to its position of rejecting any mandatory quota system, arguing that the system will alter the fabric of the European society. Prague has even threatened to take the matter to the European Court of Justice.
Hungary, the EU’s toughest anti-refugee government, has also questioned the feasibility of the plan.
Europe has been struggling for weeks to give a coordinated response to the refugee crisis.
A full summit is scheduled for Wednesday, when leaders of the 28-nation bloc are to discuss the crisis and ratify a final agreement.
According to estimates by the UN refugee agency, the refugee crisis has seen 477,906 people stream into Europe from the Middle East, Africa and Asia.