EU leaders agreed in September 2015 on the urgent relocation of more than 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy in other Member States by September 2017. This decision was made as to reduce the pressure of increased number of refugees on the brittle asylum systems of countries on the edges of the EU and to evenly distribute the effects of the migrant crisis between the Member States. The plan envisages the plan to be implemented in phases, according to predetermined quotas in regard to the population of each country. However, not all Member States were eager to accept refugees. Among them the loudest opponents were Hungary that was supposed to accept 1,294 refugees and Poland that was to accept 6,182 refugees. At the very beginning of the process, Poland agreed to accept hundred refugees, whereas Hungary refused to accept any. Up until now, only around 18,000 refugees were relocated, while 12,500 in Greece and around 4,000 in Italy are waiting for the relocation.
Due to the resistance in the Member States, it is considered that by the September deadline, only slightly less than 40,000 refugees would be relocated according to the plan. In order to force Poland and Hungary to fulfill its obligations and contribute to the number of relocated refugees, European union imposed a June as a deadline to start accepting refugees from Italy and Greece. European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos stated on 16 May 2017 that the European Commission will use its delegations to sanction Hungary and Poland if they do not respect the decision from Brussels.
Since the beginning of refugee crisis, Hungary has by many means limited the number of refugees and migrants on its territory. Wire fence along the borders with Serbia and Croatia, the adoption of controversial laws limiting the rights of asylum seekers and foreigners in total, as well as opposing to the EU quota for the reception of asylum seekers, are just some of them. On the other hand, it is known that Poland has for many years favored refugees of Christian faith, giving them a primacy over the Muslims. According to statistics from 2015, only 0.1% of Polish population are foreigners, which is the lowest percentage in the entire European Union, Poland is a country with the highest percentage of Catholics in the world – 94%.
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