Mark Linnhoefer – On Tuesday, a plan to share 120,000 refugees between the 28 member states was approved by the European Union despite heavy opposition from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
The four Eastern countries voted against the plan, but will still have to implement it according to EU law, as they had agreed to the election.
The European Commission’s Vice President Frans Timmermans says that “the Commission is under an obligation to enforce what was agreed.” French President Francois Hollande, amongst other wealthier nations, even threatens to impose a sanction on the four dissidents that would stop the flow of money to these countries. There is also the possibility of EU courts suing governments that do not implement EU laws.
Hungary has so far flat-out refused to take part in the relocation plans, meaning that the 54.000 that would have been relocated from there will firstly be relocated from Italy and Greece. Hungary has already proven in the past that its stance on asylum-seekers is not entirely open by shooting at refugees with water cannons and tear gas. Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico has joined Hungary, saying that “as long as [he is] prime minister” no quota will be implemented.
With this quota the EU is preparing to relocate an additional 160,000 refugees from already overfilled states to other member states in the next two years.
Despite the obvious European efforts to help the refugees, there are voices within the government that are starting to warn about Islamic extremists, even in the more open and welcoming countries like Germany, and UN bodies have been calling for additional screening facilities in countries like Greece and Italy.
This reporter welcomes a joint effort in rescuing asylum-seekers, but would like to note that the plan is certainly stirring up grave tensions between Eastern and Western member states that might lead to inner-political conflict in the Union in the future.