Slovakia would launch legal action by the end of this year against the EU quota plan to distribute 160,000 refugees and migrants throughout the bloc. The justice ministry spokeswoman, Alexandra Donevova, said yesterday (24 November) that “the justice ministry, together with representatives of relevant ministries, is working on preparing the lawsuit”. Slovakia wants to sue the EU at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which decides how the EU acquis (legislation) is interpreted and applied.
The official announcement only approved the previous statements by Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who said at the end of September that his government would take legal action against the EU’s decision to distribute 120,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU countries. The number of refugees to be relocated has so far increased to 160,000 but only few have actually been redistributed. Slovakia – part of the “merciless four” – as the German media described the four Visegrad countries, is stubbornly against the system of migrant quotas designed to decrease the burden on other EU countries that have absorbed the majority of arrivals.
Under the quota system, Slovakia, a nation of 5.4 million people, would have to accept less than 2,300 migrants. Robert Fico, a popular leftist politician, is seeking re-election in March for which he would rather risk infringing EU rules than implement the mandatory quotas. Prime Minister Fico also told the Slovak media that the planned legal action “can be very significant, as it can resolve many questions concerning relations between sovereign countries and the EU – including voting rights.” He did not forget to mention that Slovakia “is monitoring every Muslim in Slovakia” but admitted that “in the majority of cases they’re (Muslims) here legally.” He concluded that the “security of Slovak citizens took precedence over the rights of migrants”.