European Union sues Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland over low refugee intake

Nigerian returnees from Libya disembark from a plane upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos Nigeria Tuesday Dec. 5 2017. Hundreds of Nigerians arrived in Lagos on Tuesday having been repatriated from Libya by the African

The European commission - the executive arm of the EU - said Hungary had repeatedly failed to answer its concerns over both cases.

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 has launched legal action against the three member states earlier this year, sending them a "Letter of Formal Notice" in June and a "Reasoned Opinion" in July.

Their cases are being referred to Europe's top tribunal, the Court of Justice.

The bloc, however, found the trio's response unsatisfactory, saying that "the three countries have given no indication that they will contribute to the implementation of the relocation decision".

The plan never worked well.

The dispute has highlighted the deep divisions among Europeans over how best to handle the migrant wave, which saw more than 1 million people enter Europe in 2015, mostly from Turkey to the Greek islands and across the Mediterranean to Italy.

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There are still a few thousand eligible applicants in Italy and Greece waiting to be relocated, Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the Commission, disclosed Thursday at a press conference at the Commission headquarter. It has also undermined trust among European Union partners. "That's not what we want", he said.

But Poland is intransigent.

In a separate statement, the commission said the laws on foreign non-governmental organisations "indirectly discriminate and disproportionately restrict donations from overseas to civil society organisations".

Budapest faced a triple legal whammy from Brussels on Thursday, with the European Commission also taking Hungary to the ECJ over a crackdown on education and foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets U.S. billionaire George Soros.

In both cases, Hungary has failed to address European Union concerns about the laws or amend the legislation to bring it in line with European Union standards.

The move underscores the EU's toughening stance towards both the government of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and his rightwing allies in Poland over the bloc's democracy norms and migration.

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