Four EU member states refuse refugee relocation plan

European foreign ministers met in Prague amid EU refugee quota dispute, meeting ended without reaching agreement on relocation quotas of refugees fleeing to Europe to seek asylum

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, Czech Republic's Prime Minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, Poland's Prime Minister, Ewa Kopacz and Slovakia's Prime Minister, Robert Fico in Prague.

European foreign ministers meeting in Prague on Friday, amid dispute of the mandatory quota plan to resettle 120,000 additional refugees across Europe, have ended the meeting without reaching an agreement.

European Union countries, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic, have refused to comply to the compulsory quota system, based on each EU member country’s population, income and unemployment rate.

In a joint press conference with Hungarian, Polish and Slovak ministers, Czech Foreign Minister, Lubomir Zaoralek, said that "We're convinced that as countries we should keep control over the number of those we are able to accept and then offer them support,"

Hungarian Foreign Minister, Peter Szijjarto, offered on Friday to host a conference between western countries and non-EU western Balkan nations of Serbia and Macedonia, amid the refugee crisis.

Details of the plan were unveiled on Wednesday, by European Union Commission Chief, Jean Claude Juncker.

According to the refugee relocation quota plan Tusk presented, additional 120,000 refugees crowded in Hungary, Greece and Italy, would be relocated among 22 of the 28 EU member states.

Number of Refugees EU Countries are Being Asked to Take

In May, EU had announced the first relocation plan for the 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece, but the plan was blocked by EU member states.

EU Council President, Donald Tusk, said if the ministers failed on Monday to agree on how to cope with the current influx of refugees, there would be an extraordinary summit of EU leaders later this month.

"After contact with member states last days, more hopeful today that we are closer to solution based on consensus and genuine solidarity." Tusk said at Friday’s meeting.

He tweeted "Without concrete sign of solidarity and unity from JHA (justice and home affairs) ministers Monday, I will call extra #EUCO (European Council) in September on refugee crisis,"



German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, stated that EU member states have to agree on a fair mechanism of redistribution.

"This challenge cannot be borne by one country. We have to invoke European Solidarity," he said.

France and other large EU member states were already supporting the new quota system, so is Germany, who is receiving the largest number of asylum applications among EU member countries.

Before the new quota plan was revealed, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and French President, Francois Hollande, expressed the urgent need for a fair distribution of refugees among the European countries, and also called for a unified system for distribution of refugees.

Hollande said that, “We must put in place a unified system for the right to asylum. Rather than wait, we should organise and reinforce our policies, and that is what France and Germany are proposing," during his speech at the Berlin summit.

However, Germany and France’s joint effort to protect asylum seekers rights, could not find support from other EU nations.

Hungarian Prime Minister, said on Friday that police in his country will take tougher action towards refugees who cross Hungary’s border illegally, and also added that they will be arrested. He claimed, refugees have rebelled against Hungarian authorities, seized railway stations and rejected registration in the past few days.


Rejecting criticism over the use of force by police in refugee camps on the Hungarian border, he said "Considering that we are facing a rebellion by illegal migrants, police have done their job in a remarkable way, without using force,"



TRTWorld and agencies