Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that EU countries that refuse to accept their share of refugees under the bloc’s quota program could face legal consequences.
Steinmeier said in an interview with German weekly Der Spiegel Saturday that "Europe is a community of law." He added that "if it cannot be done otherwise, things will be resolved through the appropriate legal channels."
The minister also said that “European solidarity is not a one-way street,” referring to refusals by Slovakia and Hungary against the EU quota plan. Slovakia said last month that it would take legal action against the plan to distribute 160,000 refugees and migrants across the bloc.
Slovakia is among several eastern European countries staunchly against the proposed refugee quotas designed to ease the pressure on countries like Greece, Italy and Germany that have accommodated most of the refugees till now.
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico has reportedly maintained that he would rather risk infringing EU rules than implementing what he described as the EU's "diktat" refugee quotas.
On Thursday EU leaders set June 2016 as the deadline to agree on a new border and coastguard force to slow the influx of migrants across the 28-nation bloc's porous external frontiers. They also called for the rapid delivery of a promised 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in aid for refugees in Turkey in return for its help in stemming the flow.