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EU's top court urged to dismiss refugee relocation case

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 26/07/2017
More than 112,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean this year [File: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera More than 112,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean this year [File: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters]

An adviser of the European Union's top court has urged it to dismiss a case brought by Slovakia and Hungary challenging the obligatory relocation of asylum seekers across the bloc.

The two Eastern Euopean states - backed by neighbour Poland - had argued that the EU's 2015 scheme to have each member state host a certain number of refugees was unlawful.

The programme was designed to help ease pressure on asylum systems in Greece and Italy after mass arrivals across the Mediterranean.

But Yves Bot, the European Court of Justice's (ECJ) Advocate General, rejected most of the procedural arguments presented by Bratislava and Budapest, saying the resettlement scheme was "appropriate for attaining the objective which it pursues".

Europe has been grappling with the worst migration crisis since the end of World War II with an influx of people fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq while others from Africa are seeking an escape from poverty or political persecution.

On Wednesday, the EU is also expected to issue a key ruling that will decide the fate of hundreds of asylum seekers who arrived in the bloc in the last two years.

The ECJ will decided whether Austria and Slovenia acted illegally by pushing refugees and migrants at the border back into Croatia. 

READ MORE: Why some refugees in Greece are being driven to suicide

In 2015, more than a million refugees and migrants reached Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

Although arrivals by boat have decreased drastically since the European Union and Turkey reached a deal to stem the flow of refugees and migrants in March 2016, arrivals have not stopped.

The UNHCR says more than 112,000 people have reached Europe by Mediterranean so far this year, while at least 2,365 people died en route or are still missing at sea.

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