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June 21, 2018 12:00 am | FILED UNDER: europe

Visegrad Four PM’s Boycott EU Mini-Summit On Migration

By ČTK visegrad four

Budapest, June 21 (CTK) – None of the PMs from the Visegrad Four group (V4; the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) will attend the EU mini-summit on migration on Sunday, since there will be migrant-friendly states and the V4 would disagree with the expected conclusions, Czech PM Andrej Babis said today.

 

At the V4 prime ministers’ meeting in Budapest, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, too, said that they will not go to the mini-summit in Brussels, which is to be attended by representatives of the countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, France, Greece, Bulgaria and Malta.

 

Babis said the V4’s positions will be presented at the mini-summit by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whom his V4 counterparts met in Budapest today.

 

“We have agreed that there is no reason for us to take part [in the meeting],” Babis told Czech reporters.

 

The V4 believes that the Sunday meeting is a consequence of “the situation in Germany, Babis said.

 

“The European Council (EU summit) is meeting next week, and we will actually discuss the issue [migration] there. That is why there is no reason for us to go to the Sunday summit, which probably wants to pass conclusions with which we disagree,” Babis said.

 

As an example of such conclusions he gave the plan to reinforce the EU’s Frontex border protection agency.

 

This should not rest in raising the number of staff only, but also in changing their powers. “It is impossible to give hundreds of millions of euros to Frontex only because it keeps the statistics on illegal migrants, instead of fighting against people-smugglers,” Babis said.

 

He said it is necessary to establish migrant centres in northern Africa, which would be financed by the EU and ensure the migrants’ safety.

 

“Camps must be established outside Europe, in Tunisia or Libya…It is there where Europe should invest money,” Babis said.

 

This morning, Babis asserted that he would definitely go to the mini-summit. However, he changed his mind after meeting the other V4 PMs. “Based on solidarity, I am siding with my counterparts,” he said.

 

Babis said Kurz heard the views of Prague, Budapest, Poland and Slovakia today and will definitely present them in Brussels on Sunday. Austria’s position on migration is identical with the V4’s Babis added.

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