EU to sue Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic for Violating EU Obligations
The European Commission will sue Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for refusing to meet legal obligations of accepting their portion of asylum seekers. However, defendants claim that such a ruling interferes with their countries’ sovereignty.
There has been an overall decline in immigration, due to the reinforced border controls and EU-funded projects that discourage migration to Europe. Yet, these three Central and Eastern European countries have not changed their hardline policy. They claim that Muslim refugees cannot fit well with their majority Christian populace. Furthermore, they also see a security risk in the arrival of refugees given terrorist attacks in the last few years perpetrated by Islamist militants.
The actions of Budapest, Prague and Warsaw have led to serious tensions between numerous Western European leaders, who claim that these post-communist countries have failed to show adequate solidarity in fulfilling their EU responsibilities. These leaders have demanded a cut in EU subsidies to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to penalize them for violating EU rules.
As this development unfolded, leaders of these former-Soviet countries responded with outrage. They accused their western counterparts of coercion and promised to fight for the rights of their countries –namely in terms of EU funds.
Additionally, the Centre for European Reform research institute supports the Western EU Nations’ standpoint. Researchers at the institution believe that EU funds must be linked to the enforcement of European principles and policies. According to them, Member States may ignore these principles at their own economic risk because the legal uncertainty of disregarding EU law will disrupt the flow of capital and foreign investment. Moreover, they believe that the European Commission has the right to freeze funds until the responsible Member State makes the necessary changes.
Growing tension between the Western and Eastern EU countries are perceived by many as a greater threat to the EU’s stability than dangers resulting from Brexit.