EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker threatens anti-refugee EU members with legal action

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his support for treaty violation proceedings against EU members who refuse to take in refugees.
EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his support for treaty violation proceedings against EU members who refuse to take in refugees.PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker threatened on Friday (June 9) to launch treaty violation proceedings against EU members refusing to take in their share of refugees.

"Next week, we will address the question of whether to launch treaty violation proceedings or not," Mr Juncker told Spiegel weekly.

"The decision has not been made, but I say that I am for it," he said.

Eastern European countries including Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have flatly opposed an EU plan adopted in 2015 to redistribute among other members 160,000 Syrian, Eritrean and Iraq asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

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The EU, fed up with some countries' refusal to take in their share of asylum seekers, had set a June deadline and threatened sanctions.

Warning that he is losing patience, Mr Juncker said the drastic step of launching infringement proceedings aimed to make clear that "decisions that have been made are applicable rules, even if one voted against them".

"This is about European solidarity and there should not be a one-way street. There must be traffic in both directions," he said.