Visegrad Group against refugee quotas: Polish minister
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are against an EU quota system for relocating refugees, Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said.
Refugees arrive in Greece. Photo:Flickr.com/ggia
Speaking after a meeting in Prague with his counterparts from the Visegrad Group, which brings together the four Central and Eastern European countries, Błaszczak also said the grouping wants Western countries to review their asylum policies.
After arriving back in Warsaw, Błaszczak told reporters that at his request "two very important items" were added to a draft joint declaration by the Visegrad Group.
"All the countries of the Visegrad Group oppose the introduction of an automatic mechanism for relocation," he said.
"Perhaps in the future some countries in Western Europe will want to introduce such a mechanism again. The position of the Visegrad Group is one of solidarity – we are opposed to a mechanism of automatic relocation," he added.
The second item adopted by the Visegrad Group on Błaszczak’s suggestion is an appeal to Western European countries that are target destinations for migrants to review their asylum policy.
"Such asylum policies are a factor in attracting further waves of migration,” Błaszczak said.
Poland’s Law and Justice government has said that up to 400 refugees will be relocated to this country this year. The previous government, led by the Civic Platform, had pledged that in the long term Poland would take in 7,000.
According to the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, over a million migrants and refugees fleeing wars and poverty crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2015, nearly half of them Syrians. Most arrived in Greece and Italy. (pk)