V4 united on migration issue, says Hungarian foreign minister
The Visegrad Four grouping of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia “stands united” on the issue of migration, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Witold Waszczykowski, his Polish counterpart, Szijjártó said that the 2015 EU decision issuing a quota as to the number of migrants every member state is to accept “is unacceptable because it goes against common sense and because it infringes upon EU treaties”.
“We take the proposal to tie [the payment of] cohesion funds to our migration policy to be nothing more than common blackmail”, he said.
The V4 countries have similar viewpoints on the issue: Hungary and Slovakia have filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Justice regarding the quota scheme which Poland backs, and the Czech Republic has made it clear they would not participate in the redistribution scheme, Szijjártó noted.
Answering a question about the statement of the European Commission saying it may start infringement procedures against countries not complying with the quota scheme, Szijjártó said the EC’s objections “are political and not legal”, aimed to weaken the Hungarian and Polish governments. “We shall not allow the Commission to blackmail or threaten us”, he said.
Waszczykowski said that resettling people on a mandatory basis is “out of date and inhumane”. He said that countries refusing to let migrants in cannot be “punished” by withdrawing EU funding from them. “The two issues are unconnected. Funding is laid down in the EU treaties”, he said.
Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs