Visegrad Four to Reiterate Opposition to Binding Migrant Quota Plan

EU | September 21, 2015, Monday // 11:38|  views

Migrants who crossed the border from Croatia are escorted by Hungarian police officers to the railway station in Zakany, 230 kms southwest of Budapest, Hungary, 20 September 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Foreign ministers from four ex-Communist countries of eastern Europe are meeting on Monday with officials from the current EU president Luxembourg to declare their opposition to a proposal to introduce binding quotas for redistribution of migrants among EU member states.

The so-called Visegrad Group – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – are the main opponents of the proposal put forward by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker earlier this month. The proposal calls for the redistribution across the EU of 120,000 migrants from Italy, Greece and Hungary – the three EU member states worst affected by the current migrant influx from the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition to stating again their opposition to mandatory migrant quotas, the four countries will demand that the EU stepped up efforts to weed out economic migrants. They also intend to state that that Eastern Europe is neither financially nor culturally suited to accept large masses of migrants.

The meeting in Prague comes ahead of crunch talks on the migrant crisis in Brussels. On Tuesday, EU interior ministers will try to find some sort of agreement on the European Commission proposal. On Wednesday, a summit of EU leaders will discuss other issues related to migration such as aid to Turkey and border controls inside Europe. Non-EU Turkey hosts some two million migrants, most of them coming from Syria and trying to reach western Europe.

 EU ambassadors in Brussels had spent the weekend working on draft conclusions for Tuesday’s meeting of interior ministers, EUobserver reported on Monday.

According to an EU inside source, a draft text of a decision of the ministerial meeting “no longer contains” the Commission’s formula for redistribution based on GDP and population of each EU member state, EUobserver said.

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Tags: Visegrad, Prague, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Juncker, Syria, migrant, binding, mandatory, quotas, EU Commission, turkey


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