Monday, 19 August 2019

V4 PMs reject EC proposal for new refugee quotas in Prague

7 September 2015

Prague, Sept 4 (CTK) - The Hungarian, Polish, Slovak and Czech prime ministers resolutely rejected the European Commission's planned proposal for the redistribution of further 120,000 refugees across the European Union after their meeting in Prague Friday.
Next week, the EC will propose the redistribution of refugees from Italy, Greece and Hungary, which have been facing a strong wave of immigrants.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said discussions about refugee quotas do not go to the point. The core of the problem is the EU incapability to regulate migration and the situation in the countries like Syria and Libya.
"We agreed that the debate on quotas has only one purpose. It averts attention from the real core of the problem. Europe lost capability to regulate migration," Sobotka said about the meeting of Visegrad Group (V4) prime ministers.
The Czech Republic is currently presiding over the V4, which also includes Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said refugee quotas would attract further refugees to the EU.
If the discussion on the migration crisis is limited to refugee redistribution, EU countries will meet once a month to negotiate about numbers, although the core of the problem is elsewhere, Kopacz said.
The prime ministers did not talk about any numbers Friday as no new figures have been officially presented by Brussels, Sobotka said.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico opposed the EC proposal as well.
Fico said it seems of crucial importance to him that the Schengen internal borders remain open. The closing of these borders would be an enormous defeat of European politics, he added.
Commenting on the speculations that the drawing of EU subsidies would be linked to the countries' readiness to accept refugees, Sobotka said he considered such blackmail unacceptable.
The Czech Republic will not deal with any proposals related to quotas unless the protection of the Schengen Area external borders is decided on, unless detention facilities for refugees (hotspots) are set up and unless Europe makes diplomatic effort at halting the crises in the countries, from which the refugees are coming, Sobotka said.
He pointed out that the countries like Greece and Italy must observe the EU rules, too.

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