Slovakia announced on Wednesday (30 September) that it would take a legal action against the Brussels’ plan to redistribute 120,000 asylum seekers. Slovakia was among four countries – together with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania – to oppose the mandatory quotas for the relocation of refugees from Italy and Greece. The group of four was, however, outvoted earlier in September.
The government of Robert Fico has not formally dealt with the content of the complaint yet but the Slovak Prime Minister is being quoted as saying “if I am against something, I will complete things”. The decision does not need a green light of the parliament citing the article 263 about the competence of the Court of Justice of the European Union “to review the legality of legislative acts, of acts of the Council, of the Commission and of the European Central Bank, other than recommendations and opinions, and of acts of the European Parliament and of the European Council intended to produce legal effects vis-à-vis third parties”.
Robert Fico is basically questioning the qualified majority vote (QMV), which was used to approve the redistribution scheme. In his opinion, the issues of mandatory quotas should have been decided in the European Council where Slovakia could have used a veto. The opposition parties strongly oppose Mr Fico’s decision to take the issue to the court although they in principle disagree with the redistribution system. They say that the Prime Minister is isolating Slovakia in Europe and warn that this move will do harm to the country’s reputation. Slovakia will hold parliamentary elections in five months. Robert Fico’s ruling party – SMER-SD – is gaining popularity thanks to its harsh stance towards the issue of migration and refugees. The country will also lead the Council of the EU from July to December 2016 under the rotating presidency principle.