Czech PM wants European Union to withdraw migrants lawsuit

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The European Union on Thursday has chose to sue the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland after they failed to comply with the Union's migrant relocation measures despite having been warned several times.

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

The move was an attempt to relieve pressure on Greece and Italy where the vast majority of migrants were arriving.

Brussels launched so-called infringement proceedings against the three countries in June for failing to take in any refugees under the quota system, and warned them last month of further action.

"This is why, the commission has chose to move to the next stage of the infringement procedure and refer the three member states to the court of justice of the European Union".

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Under the plan, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic were supposed to take in a combined 10,000 people.

Responding to the move, Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski said his nation "is ready to defend its position in the Court", and declared: "No one will lift the duty of providing public safety from the Polish government".

European Union nations agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees from Italy and Greece as the countries buckled under the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants that year.

Newly elected premier Andrej Babiš said it was wrong to force migrants on unwilling nations, while his spokesman denounced the quota system as "interfer [ence] in the Czech Republic's internal affairs".

Separately, the commission is also taking Hungary to the ECJ over its laws on higher education and NGOs.

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At the core of both laws are the Hungarian government's efforts to curtail the influence of Hungarian-American financier George Soros in Hungary.

Mr Soros has a strained relationship with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The Commission has been reporting regularly on implementation of the two Council Decisions through its regular relocation and resettlement reports, which it has used to call for the necessary action to be taken.

In June, Hungary approved a law aimed at forcing civil society groups receiving more than 24,000 euros ($26,000) annually in overseas funding to register as a "foreign- supported organisation", or face closure.

The commission said the laws "indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from overseas to civil society organisations".

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