V4 countries lobbied successfully against migration quota, says govt spox
Budapest, June 26 (MTI) – The Visegrad Four have lobbied successfully against the introduction of compulsory migrant quotas in the European Union, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said on Friday.
He told public news channel M1 that the V4 countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) were united in their rejection of the compulsory quota. It was agreed at the summit of EU heads of government and state early on Friday that instead of compulsory quotas, voluntary quotas will be specified by the countries’ interior ministers and that Hungary and Bulgaria will be handled separately, he said.
This agreement is a “success in itself”, Kovacs said, adding that Hungary has been trying for months to have the EU recognise that a third of the migration pressure on the continent is focused on Hungary, with around a third of illegal migrants registered in the country.
European immigration policy in recent decades has failed and current regulations are unsuitable for handling today’s problems, he said, adding that the EU should separately examine the issue of economic migrants and give member states the freedom to decide whether they need them or not.
“We do not want to become a target country for economic migrants,” Kovacs said.
Miklos Mitrovits, an expert of the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade, told M1 that the joint position by the V4 countries is very important, considering that three of the affected countries have Schengen borders. The fact that the other V4 countries stand behind Hungary’s standpoint sends a clear signal to the EU and the European Commission. If the countries protecting Schengen borders say that this can be guaranteed only by certain means then “it will be very difficult to say in Brussels that this is not possible and it should be done differently”, he said.