The ECJ has rejected a challenge by Hungary & Slovakia, which was supported by Poland (the Visegrad Nations minus the Czech Republic), to a supposedly temporary measure made by the Council of the European Union that required them to accommodate a specific number of migrants and/or purported refugees. I wrote a brief article on the case opinion given by Advocate General Bot.
The judgment can be found here. The measure was described as involving ‘temporary’ relocation of migrants and purported refugees, mainly located in Greece and Italy over a 2 year period. The case included a challenge to the use of qualified majority voting for the measure, an argument that the measure infringed the principle of legal certainty due to incompatibility with the Dublin III Regulation,that the measure was a ‘legislative act’ that required consultation with the EU Parliament and that the measure was not in fact temporary within the meaning of article 78(3) TFEU.
With respect to the last of the above the Court ruled that;
“Accordingly, Article 78(3) TFEU, whilst requiring that the measures referred to therein be temporary, affords the Council discretion to determine their period of application on an individual basis, in the light of the circumstances of the case and, in particular, of the specific features of the emergency situation justifying those measures.”
In other words the EU Council decides what is meant by ‘temporary’. The ECJ further ruled that the fact that the measure was temporary and based on an emergency, did not mean that the legislative response could not ‘evolve’ (see paragraphs 126-130).
Slovakia and Hungary were ordered to bear their own legal costs and those of the Council of the European Union.
The Visegrad nations did not react to the ruling with equanimity. In the video below the Hungarian Foreign Minister describes the imposition of migrants and purported refugees as “political rape”.