Visegrád 4 announce creation of joint migration crisis response center

November 22, 2016


At a joint press conference in Warsaw on Monday, the interior ministers of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary announced the creation of a joint migration crisis response center, reports

Polish minister of the interior Mariusz Błaszczak (second from the right) explained that the Visegrád 4 countries were trying to get the European  Union to adopt their shared view that the refugee management system proposed by the European Commission has proven ineffective.

The resettlement of 160,000 migrants among member states prescribed by the quota framework has only resulted in 6,000 people being relocated from refugee camps, said Błaszczak, adding that “the system draws migrants and in this way increases the crisis rather than solves it.”

Blaszczak said Hungary’s role in defending the EU’s external border had been “exemplary,” and certain EU member states had “unjustly reprimanded” Hungary for fulfilling its treaty obligations.

He said the Visegrád 4 supports the concept of “effective solidarity” announced in Brussels last week by Slovakia, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, and that it supported efforts to reach a compromise within the EU.

Slovak interior minister Robert Kalinák, who also serves as deputy prime minister (second from the left), said the creation of the crisis management center would contribute towards realizing effective solidarity.

The creation of the center was announced by Hungarian interior minister Sándor Pintér (right), who said it would be run by Poland, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the V4.

“We do not want something new but rather that EU member states adhere to the original agreements,” said Pintér, adding that “our opinion is that the migrants should be sent back in a manner in keeping with the law.”

Pintér said a number of EU politicians “confused illegal migration with asylum matters.” He pointed out that over the past year illegal immigrants from 104 countries had entered Hungary via its green border.  He said wars and catastrophic conditions did not exist in so many countries, and entry without a valid visa was not warranted.

Pintér said the V4 would uniformly handle illegal immigration and migration, and it was necessary to further develop this cooperation.

The V4 ministers emphasized the policy of returning migrants to their county of origin as one of the main elements of effective solidarity.

Blaszczak said the center would coordinate the activities of the V4 member states with regard to supporting refugees in conflict zones and assisting in the distribution of practices adopted at a national level, and would coordinate the use of budgetary resources.

Also attending Monday’s expanded V4 meeting were representatives of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.