Visegrad group states reject EC proposal on redistribution of migrants

Photo: CTK

Representatives of the Visegrad Four have sharply rejected a European Commission proposal on the redistribution of migrants across the EU. At their meeting in Prague on Wednesday the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland said the proposal, which includes penalties for not accepting migrants, was divisive and unacceptable.

Lubomír Zaorálek,  Johannes Hahn,  Witold Waszczykowski,  Peter Szijjarto,  Lukáš Parízek,  photo: CTK
A meeting of Visegrad foreign ministers in Prague on Wednesday reacted sharply to the ECs latest proposal on a redistribution of migrants around the 28-member bloc. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaorálek said the proposal did not present a viable solution and only revived something that had previously been rejected.

“I am unpleasantly surprised that the Commission is returning to play a proposal upon which there is no agreement. "

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski were even more forthright in their rejection of the proposal.

PS: “This is blackmail. The quota concept is a dead-end street.

Photo: Fotomovimiento,  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
WW: “I am still wondering if it is a serious proposal because it sounds like an idea announced during April Fools Day.”

The foreign ministers also reacted to the EC’s proposal to abolish visas for Turkish nationals, saying this would only be admissible if Turkey fulfilled all required criteria, since it should not be given favourable treatment compared to others.

The Prague meeting ,which was attended by the European Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn and diplomats from Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, was called to assess progress made in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program under which six post-Soviet countries -Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine - have been offered closer economic and diplomatic ties with the EU as they progress with political and economic reforms. The project was established under the Czech Republic’s EU presidency and Foreign Minister Zaorálek stressed the need to deepen it further, while taking a differentiated approach to individual countries based on their needs and expectations.

Lubomír Zaorálek,  Johannes Hahn,  photo: CTK
“I am very happy to see the progress made by Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine which have forged ahead with reforms. At this meeting in Prague the members of the Visegrad Four agreed to intensify cooperation with these three states, and at the same time, we will take an individual approach to help meet the needs and expectations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus.”

The ministers of the V4 also stressed the need to find diplomatic solutions to territorial conflicts in the region. Progress in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program is to be assessed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in three weeks’ time.