Published in the Revista General de Derecho Europeo, no. 44 (January, 2018)
(ABSTRACT) In the judgment of the 6th September 2017, the European Union Court of Justice ruled on the Decision (EU) 2015/1601 of 22 September 2015 establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece (Relocation Decision). As the demands for international protection in the two countries reached numbers never seen before, the Decision put into play a temporary mechanism for the relocation of the asylum seekers arriving from Greece and Italy. According to the Relocation Decision, the remaining State members of the EU would receive 120.000 asylum seekers who would have presented their petition in the two Mediterranean States. The asylum seekers would be distributed among the member States according to a quota system. Hungary and the Slovak Republic requested the European Court of Justice to annul the Decision. The case was relevant due to the nature of the principle of solidarity implied and the context of the reform of the Common European Asylum System in which the judgment was adopted. The Court rejected the applications on the basis of technical and legal arguments rooted in the EU Law. However, the interpretation of the principle of solidarity was reduced to merely a symbolic status.
By Joana Abrisketa, Professor of Public International Law and International Relations at the University of Deusto and member of the Jean Monnet Chair in EU Economic and Legal integration for people.