PRAGUE (Sputnik) — The European Commission earlier on Tuesday decided to launch a procedure that could lead to the imposition of sanctions against the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary in connection with the violation by the authorities of these countries of arrangements for the distribution of refugees in Italy and Greece across the EU.
"We are ready to defend the position of the Czech Republic, and I hope that we will succeed. The system of [forced] distribution [of refugees by quota] is an incentive for illegal migration," Sobotka told reporters.
The mandatory EU scheme was established in 2015 and is aimed at relocating some refugees currently held in Greece and Italy throughout the bloc with a specific quota for each member state.
The European Union has been struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis which escalated in 2015 with hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East and North Africa seeking asylum in EU member states.