According to the Associated Press, European Union Commissioner for Common Immigration and Asylum Policy, Dimitris Avramopoulos said the EU can compel its members to accept refugees.
While speaking to the press during his visit to Poland, the official stated that the Union possessed the “tools, the means and the power” to coerce countries to obey its directives.
Avramopoulos’s remarks are the most recent in a string of warnings by officials of the bloc to member nations that decline to take in refugees or dispute the EU’s quotas. Early last month, European Commission Vice-President announced that “the Commission might start infraction procedures” against insubordinate countries while hoping that such nations would give in to “peer pressure.”
Poland has been fighting the bloc’s endeavors to resettle refugees, claiming that most of the refugees in Europe were there to take advantage of the better standards of living rather than escaping a war-zone.
Hungary, also a bloc member, sued the the EU in December 2015, arguing that the nation’s internal security would be affected by the mandatory resettlement quotas. The quotas apportion refugees among EU countries and are based on the population of each nation. A number of Eastern European member states, including Hungary, voted against the directive in the EU parliament
The subject of refugee resettlement has been a major controversy among the countries of the bloc, and was the fundamental topic in the Brexit polls in July, 2016.
One iconic campaign poster read: “We must break free of the EU and take back control of our borders.”