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Top EU Court's Adviser Urges Dismissal Of Case Against Refugee Quotas


Refugees and migrants wait to receive food distributed by the Greek Red Cross at the port of Piraeus, near Athens. (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- The top adviser of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) says a case brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the European Union's mandatory relocation of asylum seekers should be dismissed.

The two EU states, backed by Poland, had argued that a 2015 program under which each EU member state must host a certain number of refugees was unlawful and called for the quotas to be annulled.

But Yves Bot, advocate general of the ECJ, rejected Slovakia and Hungary’s arguments.

The program "automatically helps to relieve the considerable pressure on the asylum systems of Italy and Greece following the migration crisis in the summer of 2015 and...is thus appropriate for attaining the objective which it pursues," he said.

Bot's recommendation is not legally binding, but the court generally follows the opinion of the advocate general.

A final ECJ ruling is expected later this year.

Poland and Hungary have refused to take in a single asylum seeker under the EU program.

Slovakia and the Czech Republic have also stalled, citing security concerns after a series of attacks claimed by Islamist militants in the EU in recent years.

The majority of asylum seekers in Europe are from war-torn Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

With reporting by RFE/RL correspondent Rikard Jozwiak and Reuters
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