Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia criticized proposals to reform the European Union’s rules on immigration and asylum seekers, due to be discussed by the leaders of the bloc at next week’s summit.
After a meeting in Brussels with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and his Hungarian counterparts, Viktor Orban and the Polish Matyusz Murawiecki, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babisch said that the plan was not acceptable to the four Visegrad countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic).
“We have to stop immigration, quotas and moving (to Europe), as these rules are not acceptable to us,” Babish told a press conference.
“The strategy is that these people should stay and live in their homelands, and we must do our best for that,” he added.
The plan – drawn up by Germany, which received a million refugees in 2015 at the height of the migration crisis – obliges all member states to host refugee quotas in exchange for funding from the European Union’s budget.
The plan also aims to intensify efforts to return irregular migrants through measures, including restricting the granting of visas to the citizens of countries that refuse to take back their citizens, and supporting such countries in curbing immigration before the arrival of refugees to Europe.
Criticisms and criticisms
For his part, Orban criticized the proposals that include the abolition of the rule that stipulates the responsibility of the first country in the bloc to reach the refugees, a rule that constitutes a great burden on the countries bordering the Mediterranean. The plan aims to transport immigrants across the European Union in accordance with the principle of “mandatory solidarity”.
“Success will be achieved upon acceptance of the Hungarian proposal, which says that no one can enter the territory of the European Union until one of the member states ends the asylum procedures,” Orban added during the press conference.
It is noteworthy that the heads of government of the Union will discuss the proposals of the European Commission next week, after a meeting scheduled for today was postponed, after the President of the European Council Charles Michel, who usually chairs such meetings, entered quarantine.