Tag Archives: Vicegrad group

V4 declines EU attempts to reach informal deal on migration

Today in Brussels the leaders from 17 member states have attended an  informal Summit on Migration, while  Hungary’s Prime minister, Viktor Orbán, announced his country and three other Visegrad (V4) Four members would boycott the meeting. With the decision of V4 countries to deny EU their support in migrants relocation policy, the European crisis on the issue of illegal migration reached a new low.

Although the meeting is informal, without any press-conferences, trading barbs took place ahead of the event between Italy and France, while new Italian government was accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of “arrogance”.

The Italian government assessed France proposal on migration “out of reality”, including a suggestion to apply  financial sanctions on EU states that refuse migrants.

The Visegrad group decided not to attend the informal Summit called by president Juncker, because they “believe that it is not the Commission’s task to organise any summit for heads of government: that is the duty of the Council and the President of the Council”.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that the prime ministers of the four Visegrád states have agreed that they will not attend it (Informal Summit on Sunday – ed) because it would be improper to attend a meeting with a status which is unclear in terms of the European Union’s internal practices and rules. We shall therefore state our position on migration and other issues at the Brussels summit next Thursday” – Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said, explaining the position of V4.

“The future of a prosperous continent that will always be open for those in need,
but that will also deal with the challenge of migration together,
and not leave some to cope alone,” – Juncker wrote in a paper produced by the institution he leads for the occasion of migrants Summit.

Apparently the traditional President Juncker’s call for unity, solidarity and “more Europe” does not serve as a remedy for the mass-migration crisis, taking into consideration the situation in Southern Europe, where Italy alone receive more than half-a-million illegal migrants crossing Mediterranean with the help of NGOs vessels.

(Image: MSF courtesy).

 

 

 

Verhofstadt for investigation of refoulement of Turkish migrants

 

Guy Verhofstadt, leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament, has urged European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos to investigate allegations of refoulement of Turkish asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey.

According to the Hellenic League for Human Rights (HLHR), Turkish citizens have crossed the Evros river on the border between Greece and Turkey, asking for Greek authorities to be allowed to apply for asylum. However, they were cases detained by Greek police forces and returned back to Turkey where they were immediately imprisoned, facing political persecution. The are two cases refered to by the Hellenic League.

 

The  request of Verhofstadt is announced in a wake of the European Commission warning on the 6th of June to the Vicegrad4 group it could apply sanctions to member states that don’t follow EU quota rules for asylum seekers by opening infringement proceedings against them as early as next week.

The reaction came after the Czech Republic firmly stated for security reasons they would not take in more migrants.

Previously the EU ministers approved by qualified majority a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees, but as follow of the terroristic acts committed by migrants and refugees the Visegrád4  – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – changed their policies.

Benelux attempts to make up with V4

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The Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – invited Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia for talks in the Netherlands on the future of the European Union, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at press conference after the Informal Summit of the EU in Brussels.

The Dutch meeting between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ states will take place ahead of the  historical meeting in Rome on March 25 to celebrate the EU’s 60th anniversary and  discuss a new concept of the EU. A few scenarios have been proposed in White paper presented by Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, with the winning at the moment ‘multi-speed’ Europe, proposing different levels and intensity of integration processes among the member-states. An issue Juncker claimed was on the agenda since the times he “entered the European politics”.

The trio of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Rutte told reporters they initiated the meeting of  the Benelux countries to engage in a action to play a positive role in shaping the future of the EU.

“We have decided to invite the members of the Visegrad (V4) countries to come to the Netherlands to have a meeting jointly with the Benelux and later this year we will also have a meeting with the three Baltic countries, also to discuss the future of the European Union,” Rutte said, commenting of the invitation of the V4: Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

The Benelux invitation follows a standing conflict between Polish government and the other 27 leaders of the EU over the re-appointment of incumbent Donald Tusk for the second term as the EU Council president, which Warsaw  opposed, motivating by Tusk failure to keep impartiality,  actively supporting the opposition, using his high status.

As a result of the opposition the official Summit conclusions were not signed by Polish Prime Minister Beata Shidlo in an asymmetrical answer to the neglect to Polish concerns. The snubbing that might cost  a lot to the EU projet, already suffering from the rise of eurosceptic parties, blaming the EU to abandoning the citizens for all kind of “other” interests.