A Pyrrhic victory? The ECJ upholds the EU law on relocation of asylum-seekers

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Series Details Volume 19, Number 16
Publication Date September 2017
ISSN 1756-851X
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How should the EU deal with the perceived ‘migrant/refugee crisis’? It has done a number of things, but back in September 2015, when the numbers of arrivals were peaking, it did something truly remarkable – requiring Member States to relocate 160,000 asylum-seekers from the ‘frontline’ states of Italy and Greece, which were bearing most of the burden of new arrivals.

In fact, this took the form of two separate decisions, as I discussed in detail at the time. The first decision was relatively uncontroversial, since it concerned only 40,000 people and Member States had agreed to admit them by consensus. But the second decision, concerning the other 120,000 people, was adopted against the objection of several Member States and set out mandatory quotas for admission. This led to legal action by Slovakia and Hungary to challenge this decision before the ECJ (see discussion of the Slovak challenge here).

This week, the ECJ ruled against this legal challenge, following soon after the opinion of its Advocate-General, who took the same view. As we shall see, this case brings into sharp relief the conflict between effectiveness and legitimacy in EU law – and indeed between effectiveness as a legal principle and practical effect on the ground.


Source Link http://www.statewatch.org/analyses/no-320-relocations.pdf
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