The V4 countries speaking unanimously on migration policy

– During the meeting we have discussed the joint declaration. We think that the question of relocation should be discussed and decided on by the European Council rather than by the Council of the European Union - said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak at the meeting of the Heads of the Ministries of Interior of the Visegrad Group.

V4

– During the meeting we have discussed the joint declaration. We think that the question of relocation should be discussed and decided on by the European Council rather than by the Council of the European Union. An issue of such a great importance, namely the safety of our countries, cannot be decided by the majority. The decisions have to be taken unanimously – said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak at the meeting of the Heads of the Ministries of Interior of the Visegrad Group. 

Mariusz Błaszczak informed that the Ministers of the Visegrad Group countries would submit the text of the declaration to the Heads of their Governments, together with the project of the letter from the V4 Prime Ministers to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. The letter will include a strong statement that the decision on relocation needs to be taken by the European Council.

The Head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration ensured that the position of the Visegrad Group is joint and unanimous. – We believe that the relocation methods attract further waves of migration to Europe, which makes those methods ineffective – explained Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

This solution was accepted by the PO-PSL coalition government. Poland was to accept about 7 thousand refugees at that time. Such actions posed a risk to our citizens. – My duty as the Minister of Interior is not to allow the situation, in which the tragic events as those that took place in the West of Europe happen in Poland – said the Head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration. He also reminded that the relocation system proposed by the European Union is ineffective. So far about 20 thousand refugees out of 160 thousand persons have been relocated to other EU countries, i.e. only 12 percent of the whole number.

At the same time Minister Mariusz Błaszczak ensured that the announcements of the European Commission about punishing the Visegrad Group countries for not accepting refugees are unfounded. – We believe that the security policy constitutes an internal, rather than EU, policy. We defend the safety of our countries ourselves – he emphasised.

The meeting provided also an opportunity to sum up the year of Polish presidency in the Visegrad Group. – First of all I would like to express my gratitude to Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who assumed the presidency of the Visegrad Group. This was one of the most active presidencies – emphasised Robert Kaliňák, Deputy Minister of the Slovak Republic.  

The Ministers also approved e.g. the Roadmap for the Crisis Migration Mechanism, which provides for the scope and schedule of further actions for the next two years. It concerns both the engagement in the Union actions and the development of projects with third countries.

It is worth mentioning that as of 1 July 2017 the presidency of the Visegrad Group will be held by Hungary. – I may promise that we will follow the path initiated by the Czech presidency and continued by the Polish presidency. As for the issues concerning migration, I think that we will observe those rules, which we have jointly worked out – emphasised Sándor Pintér, the Minister of Interior of Hungary.

The actions taken on the external borders need to be especially emphasised. They include the support provided to Macedonia by all the Visegrad Group countries. This engagement showed in practice how the borders should be protected, which constitutes one of the key elements of our common position to fighting illegal migration. Milan Chovanec, the Head of the Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic referred to this issue, stating that it is important to fully control the external EU border first and only then is it possible to help refugees. He explained that it is necessary to verify who needs help and who is an economic migrant. – I am glad that the relocation system has been rejected by the Visegrad Group countries – said the Czech Minister. 

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