Brussels, June 11 (CTK’s special correspondent) – All Visegrad Four (V4) countries, or the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, are opposed to the EC-proposed quotas for spreading refugees among EU states, their representatives have agreed in Brussels yesterday, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said.
The V4 countries believe that the acceptance of refugees should be based on the principle of voluntariness, he said.
Sobotka and representatives of the other V4 countries met on the sidelines of the Brussels summit of the EU and the Latin American and Caribbean states (CELAC) this morning in order to coordinate their positions on the migration problem ahead of the end-June meeting of the European Council.
They are to discuss the issue again at a meeting of the V4 prime ministers in Bratislava on June 19.
Yesterday, the V4 countries agreed that the EC, by its refugee quotas proposal, “has markedly diverted from the original proposal by the European Council that spoke about voluntariness in terms of reallocation and resettlement,” Sobotka said.
The V4 emphasises the importance of an effective functioning of the Schengen system, to which all European countries should contribute, Sobotka said.
He said the V4 is opposed to both EC-proposed plans, one of which counts with the resettlement of 20,000 people from non-EU countries, who are entitled to international protection, to the EU in the next two years. The Czech Republic is supposed to accept 525 of them.
Within the other plan, 40,000 immigrants staying in Italy and Greece should be spread among the whole EU in the next two years.