EU 'Fails to Understand' Hungary Refugee Quota Referendum

The EU on Thursday questioned Hungary's decision to hold a referendum on mandatory quotas for refugees, which the bloc's leaders agreed on last year to deal with the migrant crisis.

"We fail to understand how it would fit into the decision-making progress agreed to by all EU member states under the treaties," European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told a news briefing.

"But it appears domestic debate on this issue is ongoing and not yet concluded so we will wait for further clarifications."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced plans for the referendum on Wednesday, protesting that Brussels has no right to "redraw Europe's cultural and religious identity."

Orban voted against an EU plan last September to distribute 160,000 asylum-seekers among member states under a quota system to take pressure off frontline states Italy and Greece, but the scheme was nonetheless approved.

In December Hungary joined Slovakia in filing a legal complaint against the plan, which would see Hungary take in around 2,300 migrants.

So far Hungary has taken none and the response has been poor across the EU with states relocating just 598 people so far out of the planned 160,000.

Source: Agence France Presse

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