“Today Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans threatened court action against countries that refuse to relocate refugees. The first infringement procedures, which could result in fines, may be launched as early as next month.”
These ‘infringement proceedings’ are part of the European Commission’s instruments to enforce its will on rebellious member states, this time being Austria, Denmark, Poland and Hungary.
In 2015, the EU agreed that by September 2017, 160.000 migrants would be resettled from Greece and Italy to other member states. With only seven months to go, only 8,162 people have actually been resettled, leaving a gap of over 150.000 people.
Timmermans threats were implicit, but should nonetheless be taken since the Commission hasn’t shied away from using it before. He said he hoped member state “peer pressure” would move the four countries to conformity, but that he would consider penalties if there was no progress by the end of March when the next report is due:
“That is the right moment to consider other options if they are necessary. The Commission might start infraction procedures and we will certainly consider that.”
In short, the EU is seeking yet again to forcibly overrule the will over national parliaments.