The mass migration scourge has been afflicting Europe since 2015, and gives no sign of slowing down.
But a considerable amount of pushback has started, mainly by Poland and Hungary, countries that have refused to accept ‘immigration quotas’ from the very start.
The EU’s court ruled, in 2020, that both nations failed to respect the bloc’s laws. Now, it appears as if they are ready to defy the rules again.
“EU leaders on Friday walked away from their summit in Brussels without releasing a joint statement on migration. Hungary and Poland, who had launched an 11th-hour attack on the already-agreed position on migration, would not relent in their opposition.
The dispute was mostly symbolic. The end–of-summit text itself would have had almost no real impact on what was truly angering Hungary and Poland: A fresh deal to overhaul how Europe welcomes and relocates migrants.
But the failure of the European Council to finalize a joint statement sent a strong signal about the rising emotional register of migration talks these days. If even a relatively superficial text left leaders gnashing their teeth for hours, imagine what may lie ahead as the EU works to finalize and implement its new policies.”
Italian PM, Giorgia Meloni , who has a certain amount of ideological affinity with Poland’s Duda and Hungary’s Orbán, tried to convince them to come to a compromise, but was not able to pull it off.
“Poland was asking for two things. One was language committing the EU to make migration policy decisions unanimously (instead of the current ‘qualified majority’ standard). And the second was language urging the EU to offer extra cash to manage the flow of refugees fleeing Ukraine. Hungary gladly hopped on board, pushing the protest in an even more hard-line direction.”
Poland and Hungary are in defiance of an agreement, reached in June 8, to share responsibility for migrants illegally entering Europe.
Associated Press reported:
“European Council President Charles Michel, who chaired the summit, issued his own statement, which unlike the joint communiqué did not require full endorsement by the member countries.
Poland and Hungary ‘considered that they were not in a position to validate the conclusions’ of the summit, Michel said. The two, he noted, insist that ‘relocation and resettlement should be on a voluntary basis and that all forms of solidarity should be considered equally valid and not serve as a potential pull factor for irregular migration’.”
The EU immigration deal stipulates that countries that refuse to take migrants in must pay 20,000 euros per person, instead.
Only Poland and Hungary voted against it. Other countries, such as Italy’s, abstained.
“On the sidelines of the summit, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán told his country’s state radio on Friday that he would continue blocking new migration rules until consensus was reached, casting the proposal as a grave threat to his country.
‘We will only accept any rule if everyone agrees on it, if there’s a consensus decision’, Orbán said. ‘They want to require us to build migrant ghettos in Hungary’.”
Meanwhile, Polish nationalist party Konfederacja, polling third place in the run-up to the elections later this year, has proposed holding a national referendum on Poland’s immigration policy.
“Konfederacja proposed a referendum on migration policy
1) Do you support EU relocation of migrants
2) Do you support social benefits for immigrants?
3) Do you support paying immigrants Polish min pension if they did not pay into system
4) Do you support simplificiation in issueing migration permits to people from countries not culturaly close to Poland (eg muslim countries)
5) Do you support the project of the ministry of foreign affairs, which wants to admit into Poland 400,000 migrants per year”
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