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EU urges member states to adopt relocation obligations

EU URGES MEMBER STATES TO ADOPT RELOCATION OBLIGATIONS

The European Commission has threatened Wednesday the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland with legal suits should they not implement the EU migrant relocation measures.

According to a statement, the Commission sent "reasoned opinions" to the countries "for non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation."

"If no reply is received, or if the observations presented in the reply are not satisfactory, the Commission may decide to [...] refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU," the statement said.

The EU member states agreed on an emergency relocation scheme in July 2015 to ease the burden on Greece and Italy, where high numbers of migrants had been arriving.

European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, meanwhile, said in a written statement that he regretted that certain member states "continue to show no solidarity and to ignore our repeated calls to participate in this common effort".

"None of the arguments they put forward justify that they do not implement the relocation decision," he said.

The Commission said in a report that the total number of relocations stood at 24,676 -- 16,803 from Greece and 7,873 from Italy -- as of July 26, far below the 160,000 target.

"Efforts remain uneven, however. A number of member states have still not resettled a single person yet," Avramopoulos said.

Hungary and Poland remain the only EU states that "have not relocated a single person", while the Czech Republic has not relocated anyone since August 2016, the Commission said.

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