Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic broke EU law by failing to accept refugees

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) says in its ruling that these countries had failed to accept their share of 120,000 asylum seekers who had arrived in Italy and Greece, under a relocation programme agreed by the European Council in 2015.

It also finds Poland and the Czech Republic guilty of failing to fulfil their obligations under an earlier Council decision with regard to 40,000 migrants.

The European Council — composed largely of national government leaders and heads of state — adopted their decisions in September 2015 at a time when more than a million migrants had arrived in Europe, most fleeing war in Syria and Iraq.

The CJEU says that Poland and the Czech Republic initially agreed to accept 100 and 50 migrants respectively, but failed to do so in practice: the Czechs took in only 12, while Poland and Hungary accepted none.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview in 2018, that his government opposed the EU’s mandatory relocation scheme for migrants, arguing that Poland still struggling with the decision of having accepted thousands of refugees from Ukraine.