A country in the European Union has a hefty fine to pay. Hungary and Poland are finding that out the hard way.
France and Germany, along with a host of up to 21 other countries, are set to demand the two countries accept migrants under the quota system or get out of the EU.
The two have repeatedly ignored the pleads of the EU to take in migrants residing in Italy and Greece. In fact, public opinion is so against taking migrants that Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party came to power in 2015 after the previous government agreed to take migrants under the quota system.
And you’ve probably heard about Hungary’s opinion on the matter. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a vocal opponent of the scheme from the beginning. He stated forcing member countries to take a compulsory quota of migrants is unlawful and will “spread terrorism around Europe”.
So far, he hasn’t been wrong.
Later this year, the two countries will be given an ultimatum and have to decide whether they are willing to maintain an anti-mass migration stances if it puts their membership of the EU at threat, a senior diplomatic source from one of the bloc’s six founding member states told The Times.
The source said: “They will have to make a choice: are they in the European system or not? You cannot blackmail the EU, unity has a price.”
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) is expected to hold a hearing on the legality of migrant quotas in the coming weeks, with a judgement — widely expected to be in favour of the scheme — likely by the end of the year.
“We are confident that the ECJ will confirm validation,” the source said. “Then they must abide by the decision. If they don’t then they will face consequences, both financial and political. No more opt-outs. There is no more ‘one foot in and one foot out’. We are going to be very tough on this.”
Hungary challenged the court, insisting that it is culturally and constitutionally unreasonable to impose asylum seekers on unwilling member states.
If we were Hungary and Poland… we would fly the metaphorical middle finger and leave the union.
Would you agree?