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Migration: Visegrad countries reject EU plans for asylum pact


Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sees "no breakthrough", Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis wants to "stop migration": The EU proposals for asylum reform are meeting with resistance in Eastern Europe.

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Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán


Several states in the Eastern European Visegrad Group have rejected the EU Commission's proposals for asylum reform.

"There is no breakthrough," said Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at a joint press conference with the heads of government from Poland and the Czech Republic in Brussels.

The reform proposals still included the plan to distribute refugees via quotas within the EU, but no plans for reception camps outside the European Union.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis made a similar statement.

The EU must "stop migration," he says.

That is why it is necessary to set up "hotspots" outside the European Union and not camps within the EU borders.

The EU has to negotiate with Libya and Syria so that the people stay there.

The group of the four Visegrad states, to which Slovakia also belongs, are sticking to their position that the EU migration policy has to rely on a "rigorous and effective border control policy" and help for the countries of origin, said Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

"We want to prevent problems at the source instead of having to deal with huge and controversial proposals (...)."

All three heads of government had previously met EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels.

Further negotiations on the asylum reform are possible.

Babis said he expected a "long discussion".

Faster deportations planned

On Wednesday, the EU Commission presented new proposals for the asylum reform, which has been controversial for years.

They rely on accelerated procedures at the border and more and faster deportations of rejected asylum seekers.

They also provide for help from other EU countries for main arrival countries such as Greece and Italy through the distribution of refugees.

In principle, however, this should not be binding.

Countries that, like the Visegrad states, refuse to accept refugees can alternatively show solidarity by ensuring that the same number of asylum seekers who have already been rejected are deported.

"Redistribution and quotas remain, no matter what the name, redistribution and quotas," Orbán said.

"Changing the name is not enough."

Even before the meeting with von der Leyen that morning, Babis had described the Commission proposal as "nonsense".

"If we don't accept migrants, we can't deport them."

A statement by Greece shows the extent to which the positions on migration policy in the EU diverge.

A government spokesman said that they would continue to insist on the even distribution of migrants.

For years, Greece has been calling for those entitled to asylum to be distributed among all EU countries.

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kev / AFP

Source: spiegel

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