Row over refugee quotas referred to ECJ

The EU Commission filed a complaint against Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Thursday over their refusal to take in refugees under the EU's mandatory quota system. This will only harden the battle lines, Czech commentators fear.

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Denik (CZ) /

Commission is doing the EU a disservice

A verdict of guilty against the three states would have repercussions for the entire EU, Denik believes:

“Behind the row over solving the migration crisis is a far more serious dispute about how the EU functions. While the Commission expects a decision that was implemented by force and not consensus to be respected, the three accused countries want the principle of equality and sovereignty of the member states to be respected. ... Since the Brexit referendum it has become clear that the EU must change if it doesn't want to collapse. The Commission's belief that it can bring rebellious states to heel is short-sighted. It will only make the castigated second-class members even more emotional in weighing up the pros and cons of their EU membership. With this stance the Commission is doing the EU a disservice.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Demagogy based on refugee quotas

The dispute is even dominating the campaign for the Czech presidential election due to take place next week, Lidové noviny observes:

“The quotas are what's driving the campaign, and it, in turn, provides a fertile breeding ground for demagogy. Former prime minister and presidential candidate Mirek Topolánek says that the EU Commission is taking action against the three countries 'for not fulfilling their quotas.' This is unfair, he says, 'because other EU members have also failed to fulfil their quotas.' That's pure demagogy. Legal action is being taken against us because we have rejected and boycotted the quotas on principle. Will any of the other candidates berate Topolánek for this demagogy? Hardly, because that would be to saw off the branch they're all sitting on.”