The Visegrád Four (V4) countries have reached a joint position of rejection against the refugee quotas urged by the European Union. Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Deputy PM of Poland held talks in Bratislava on Friday on the occasion of the closure of Slovakia’s V4 presidency. In addition to illegal migration, the agenda of the meeting also featured the questions of energy security, the future of Greece and the objectives of the Czech V4 Presidency to begin in July.
“We reject the mandatory quotas because we believe that what the European Union proposes is contrary to the principle of voluntariness represented by the European Council”, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico pointed out at the joint press conference held after the meeting. Hungary’s Premier Viktor Orbán said that illegal immigration was a crime, and Hungary would not allow crimes to be committed on its borders; it will therefore “protect its own, and thereby Europe’s external borders.” Viktor Orbán pointed out: from among European countries, the greatest migration pressure is today on Hungary as more than 50,000 migrants arrived in Hungary in the first five months of the year; more than in Italy or Greece.
The second part of the V4 meeting was also attended by the French President. Francois Hollande pointed out in connection with the intensifying problem of the flood of asylum-seekers reaching the borders of Europe that he fully agrees with the view taken by the V4 based on which Europe should primarily focus on finding solutions to the causes of migration. Francois Hollande said he shared the view that the refugee quota cannot be transposed into real life, however, he insisted that a degree of voluntary solidarity shall be manifested in relation to the management of this issue.
After the summit, the leaders of the V4 countries walked over to the Hotel Kempinski where they attended a joint panel discussion at Central-Europe’s most significant security and foreign policy forum, Globsec which also began on Friday in Bratislava. The Hungarian government is not waiting for a European response in the management of the asylum crisis as the protection of its borders is a primary duty of the State, Viktor Orbán said at the event. According to the Hungarian Prime Minister, the issue of migration is a highly complex one which has moral, economic, demographic and security aspects. Viktor Orbán referred to the planned erection of a fence on the Hungarian-Serbian border as a technical issue, and reiterated that the main criterion is the duty to maintain the protection of the state borders.
via kormany.hu and MTI photo: Szilárd Koszticsák – MTI