Monday, 19 August 2019

Czechs to dismiss permanent quotas at EU ministerial meeting

19 April 2016

Prague, April 18 (CTK) - The Czech Republic will dismiss mandatory permanent quotas for migrants redistribution at the meeting of the EU interior ministers in Brussels on Thursday based on the mandate the government approved on Monday, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said on Twitter.

The government considers the plans unacceptable. It prefers a functioning agreement with Turkey and the European border and coast guards.

On Sunday, Sobotka said the Czech Republic may file a legal complaint challenging a permanent mechanism of redistributing migrants across EU countries if introduced.

The Czech Republic will probably be represented at the Thursday meeting by First Deputy Interior Minister Jiri Novacek, not by minister Milan Chovanec, Hana Mala, from the ministry, told CTK.

Earlier this month, the European Commission presented two alternative proposals of the asylum policy, one of which introduces such a mechanism.

The Czech government considers such a mechanism absolutely unacceptable, it said in a press release on Monday.

Sobotka told Prima TV on Sunday that these proposals would boost illegal migration and seek to introduce a federal migration policy. Sobotka said a broad coalition, larger than the Visegrad Four (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic), should be formed against the permanent mechanism.

The government said its priorities are the maintaining of the Schengen system of free movement. It said it prefers a functioning EU-Turkey deal on migration and the formation of the European border and coast guard.

Last September, EU interior ministers approved quotas for the redistribution of tens of thousands of refugees by a majority vote.

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