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European Union sues Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over low refugee intake

European Union sues Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over low refugee intake

The European commission separately announced on Thursday that it was also taking Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland to court over their refusal to accept refugees under a controversial EU scheme.

The commission, the EU's executive body, accused the three countries of "non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation".

Last month the ECJ warned Warsaw to stop logging in one of Europe's last primeval forests "immediately" or face fines of up to 100,000 euros a day.

In 2015 European Union states agreed to relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers between them based on the size and wealth of each country, however, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against accepting mandatory quotas. If no reply is received, or if the observations presented in the reply are not satisfactory, the Commission may decide to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure, and refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU.

In addition to these concerns, the Commission is also of the opinion that Hungary violates the right to freedom of association and the rights to protection of private life and personal data enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, read in conjunction with the EU Treaty provisions on the free movement of capital.

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He added that the system agreed two years ago was "nonsense" and only served to support the rising popularity of the continent's extremist parties.

Hungary has introduced an education law that could shut the Soros-founded Central University in Budapest, which has always been seen as a hostile bastion of liberalism by Orban's right-wing government.

Mr Soros has a strained relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. After having carefully analysed the explanations put forward by Hungary, the European Commission concluded that its serious concerns had not been addressed and so issued a reasoned opinion.

Hungary also caused controversy in June when it passed legislation forcing non-governmental organisations to declare themselves "foreign-funded".

The European Commission said that the laws on foreign non-governmental organisations "indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from overseas to civil society organisations".

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