Leaders of Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic

Czech Republic Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Poland Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. (Credit Image: © Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press)

The European Commission has launched legal action against three EU member states, claiming Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic have not “taken the necessary action” in dealing with migrants and refugees.

Infringement proceedings were launched by Brussels on Tuesday.

Warsaw, Budapest, and Prague have been accused of not fulfilling their obligations in dealing with migrants and refugees according to a 2015 plan.

The three EU states have acted “in breach of their legal obligations,” the commission said in a statement, adding that it had previously warned the countries to observe “their commitments to Greece, Italy and other member states.”

The Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland “have not yet taken the necessary action,” the statement says, claiming that the three EU members “have not yet relocated a single person.”

“Against this background… the Commission has decided to launch infringement procedures against these three Member States.”

Since January, other countries within the bloc have relocated almost 10,300 people from Italy and Greece, according to the commission. “The pace of relocation has significantly increased,” it added, saying it has witnessed “a fivefold increase” compared to the same period last year.

In total, nearly 21,000 asylum-seekers have been distributed throughout Europe, some 14,000 from Greece and the rest from Italy.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka slammed Brussels’ decision and called its plan to deal with migrants “dysfunctional,” Reuters reports.

“The European Commission blindly insists on pushing ahead with dysfunctional quotas which decreased citizens’ trust in EU abilities and pushed back working and conceptual solutions to the migration crisis,” the news agency cited Sobotka as saying in an email statement.

Warsaw has also reacted to Brussels’ decision, saying it intends to carry on with its current migration policy and does not intend to accept its quota of refugees. It is ready to defend its right to not take in refugees in an EU court, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on Tuesday.

The initiation of infringement procedures would only further escalate EU divisions, and push the bloc further away from a “necessary political compromise” to solve the migrant crisis on the continent, the Polish official said.

He also called the 2015 plan “erroneous,” and argued that Warsaw contributes to solving the migrant crisis by “engaging in protection of EU’s external borders and systematically strengthening its humanitarian involvement in the region.”

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