V4 foreign ministers criticize Swiss immigration quotas
The foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary on Thursday criticized Switzerland for its decision to introduce immigration quotas for eight EU member countries of central and Eastern Europe. The joint statement, adopted on the sidelines of a NATO officials’ summit in Brussels, was reportedly initiated by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg. The foreign ministers of the four countries said they hoped that Switzerland would reconsider the move.
Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but is part of the bloc’s Schengen zone of free movement, will cap immigration from eight central and Eastern European countries beginning May 1; the country will annually grant some 2,000 residency permits to Czechs, Slovaks, Poles and citizens of other six post-communist countries.