Brussels, Dec 7 (CTK) – The European Commission (EC) had no other option than to take the Czech Republic to court over its refusal of migrant quotas because the country declared that it would not accept any refugees, Czech MEP Pavel Svoboda (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) said on Thursday.
“The resolution of the Czech government that we won’t accept any refugees seems to me the biggest mistake we made. We gave the EC no other possibility than to file a legal complaint against us,” Svoboda said.
EC Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced Thursday the decision to send the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to the EU court over their rejecting the quotas for the redistribution of asylum seekers from Italy and Greece.
Despite repeated calls from the EC, the three countries have not been meeting their duty to offer to accept refugees once in three months within the system of redistribution of asylum seekers.
“The Czech Republic should have shown at least a minimum participation and solidarity rather than taking such a radical stance against the quotas,” Svoboda said.
“Slovakia acted in a much more pragmatic way. We know that quotas are not an ideal solution, but nobody has invented anything better,” he added.
A dialogue with the EC needs to be reopened and a compromise solution sought, Svoboda said.
Timmermans said on Thursday the issue could be easily dealt with if the three countries changed their attitude.
Czech Prime Minister-designate Andrej Babis (ANO) said he wants to talk with the EC about the withdrawal of the complaint. Babis said quotas do not make any sense to him and the timing of the legal complaint was unfortunate.
Svoboda said the Czech Republic could have prevented the legal complaint if it took some small steps. However, the issue has not been closed yet and certain steps still can be taken, he added.
Svoboda, a Czech member of the European People’s Party (EPP), is the head of the European Parliament committee on legal affairs.
Czech politicians mostly rejected the EC decision to take the country to court over its stance on refugees on Thursday.