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V4 parliaments’ reps meet in Prague, criticise quotas

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Kamenice, Central Bohemia, April 27 (CTK) – Representatives of the parliaments of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, again criticised the EU refugees quotas at their meeting at Stirin chateau near Prague yesterday.
Czech Senate chairman Milan Stech (senior government Social Democrats, CSSD) called the quotas an excess, while Hungarian parliament head Laszlo Koever considers it an effort to federalise Europe.
They indirectly criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I still suppose that it is rather an excess that will not repeat and that primarily the European Commission will learn a lesson from it,” said Stech at a press conference, commenting on last year’s decision on the obligatory quotas for the redistribution of refugees across the EU, which several countries, including the Czech Republic, opposed.
Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (CSSD) said it was a mistake that such a sensitive matter was allowed to be decided in a majority vote.
Stech said the Western European countries should take the V4 experience into consideration.
Koever expressed the strongest criticism of the EU quotas.
Slovak parliament chairman Andrej Danko could not attend the meeting for health reasons,
Koever called the obligatory quotas an attempt to push through a dangerous precedent, which is part of the efforts to federalise Europe. Besides, it was imposed by the stronger EU members on the others, Koever added.
It is unacceptable and very dangerous that particular countries were making their individual decisions and inviting millions of refugees and then they wanted the whole EU 28 to tackle the situation, Koever pointed out, hinting at Merkel’s statements from last year about Germany to look after Syrian refugees.
Representatives of Poland do not agree with the quotas either. They noted that refugees would leave for Germany or other Western countries eventually despite the quotas.
The heads of the V4 countries’ parliaments also debated the issue with French National Assembly chairman Claude Bartolone. They agreed on the necessity to observe the existing rules of the Schengen Area and migration.
The EU interior ministers approved the quotas for the redistribution of 120,000 refugees across the EU last September. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against it. Budapest and Bratislava filed a legal complaint against this system with the European Court of Justice.

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