BELGRADE – Slovakia filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice on Wednesday against a European Union decision to redistribute 120,000 asylum seekers among member countries, the first legal challenge to a measure that has divided the bloc.
So far this year, nearly 890,000 migrants and refugees have reached European shores, about four times the total in 2014, according to U.N. data. The question of how to cope with the mass inflows have caused a rift between EU governments.
Germany and France threw their weight behind a quota system to help redistribute migrants across EU members, but some of the smaller, less wealthy and more socially conservative countries in the bloc strongly rejected the idea.
Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania opposed mandatory quotas, but were outvoted at a meeting of EU interior ministers in September.
“We demand that the court rules the decision on imposing mandatory quotas is invalid,” Fico told reporters.