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European Commission chief hits out at EU states resisting migrant plan

Hungary's President had proposed to ban the large-scale resettlement of migrants through a constitutional amendment. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Paris, France Oct 07, 2016, 01.42 PM (IST)

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker hit out at Hungary for its anti-migrant policy on Friday, warning that rejection of European values could create rifts in the bloc. 

Addressing a conference in Paris, Juncker said if member states refuse to follow the EU plan for migrants, it would be "the beginning of the end" for the bloc.

"If every time a member state doesn't agree with a decision, it organises a referendum to say the opposite of what the rule of law has said... we won't be able to manage and to govern the European Union," he said.

Accusing Hungary of disrespecting the EU norms, Juncker said he was saddened to see member states setting themselves apart by no longer respecting the democratically worked out resettlement plan. 

Juncker's reaction comes days after Hungary's President Viktor Orban proposed to ban the large-scale resettlement of migrants through a constitutional amendment. 

Orban's rejection of the EU refugee quota plan received strong support in a referendum on October 2. The vote, however, was declared invalid because of low turnout.

Under the EU resettlement plan, last year most member states approved the redistribution of 160,000 migrants on a quota basis. 

But progress has been slow, with eastern and central European countries vehemently opposing the plan.

(WION with inputs from AFP)
 

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