September 30, 2015 / 11:57 AM / in 4 years

Slovakia pushes ahead with legal action over EU migrant quotas

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Slovakia is to take legal action at the European Court of Justice against the European Union’s plan to force all member countries share out 120,000 asylum seekers, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Wednesday.

Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania had opposed the mandatory quotas for redistributing migrants from Italy and Greece but the group was outvoted at a meeting of EU interior ministers earlier this month.

Slovakia is the only one of them to resort to legal action so far. The Czechs and Romanians have said they will not sue and the Hungarians have only said they would consider it.

“We disagree with mandatory quotas and we formalised that opinion today,” Fico told a news conference in the central Slovak city of Nitra after the government agreed the move.

The suit will be drafted by lawyers within the next two months, the Justice Ministry said.

Slovakia should initially take in 802 migrants under the EU relocation scheme, which it sees as an encouragement for migrants to keep coming.

It has argued the EU should rather focus on securing its external borders, enforcing existing asylum rules and providing aid around conflict zones.

Fico said he did not fear the quota system would be implemented against Slovakia’s will as it was not technically enforceable.

Slovakia is not a target country for migrants and it has said it had no power to keep them in if they wish to move on to Germany and other richer EU member states.

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