BUDAPEST, Hungary – The Latest on the European Court of Justice ruling on relocation of migrants in the EU (all times local):
Human rights group Amnesty International is welcoming a ruling by the European Court of Justice against Hungary and Slovakia on the relocation of asylum-seekers, saying they have been trying to turn their countries into "refugee-free zones."
The group's EU office director, Iverna McGowan, said Wednesday that "Slovakia and Hungary have tried to dodge the EU's system for solidarity, but each country has a role to play in protecting people fleeing violence and persecution."
She called on EU nations to "show solidarity with each other, and with asylum-seekers who are seeking protection in Europe."
EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years, but only about 24,000 have been relocated so far.
Hungary and Slovakia were seeking to have the decision annulled.
The European Court of Justice says it has rejected efforts by Hungary and Slovakia to stay out of a European Union scheme meant to relocate refugees.
The court said Wednesday that it had "dismissed in its entirety the actions brought by Slovakia and Hungary."
EU countries agreed in September 2015 to relocate 160,000 refugees in Greece and Italy over two years. Only around 24,000 people have been relocated so far.
The program is considered a key part of the EU's migration policy.
Hungary and Poland voted against the plan and have refused to take part, while so far Slovakia has accepted only a handful of refugees from Greece.