Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The latest EU-Turkey summit dealing with the migrant crisis was another inconclusive meeting staged by Brussels, though some EU officials assert the opposite, and the next summit, due next week, is unlikely to produce any solution either, Jaroslav Plesl says in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) yesterday.
After long debates on how to approach the wave of migrants illegally coming to Europe from the southeast, even the most stubborn advocates of the open borders policy finally realised that it is necessary to close the migrant routes and strictly regulate the migrant stream, Plesl writes.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel relies on cooperation with Turkey in this respect. She has been backed by EC President Jean-Claude Juncker, whom Turkish President Recep Erdogan previously labelled the former prime minister of a country sized as a Turkish town, Plesl writes.
The Turks treat the EC leadership accordingly, he writes.
Erdogan sent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the Brussels summit on Monday, asking him to bring three billion euros back to Ankara immediately, make the EU promise him another 3 billion and achieve an almost immediate introduction of visa-free relations with the EU countries, Plesl writes.
Moreover, Erdogan asked Davutoglu to achieve “the opening of further chapters within the talks about the EU countries’ planned entry into the Turkish Union,” Plesl writes with irony.
Really, the above sentence is no error. Previously, it seemed that the conditions of Turkey’s possible EU accession would be set by the EU. After the Monday summit, nevertheless, it is evident that the accession talks will be held under the baton of Ankara. Political prisoners in Turkey must be rejoicing at this, Plesl says sarcastically.
In exchange, the Turks promised to withdraw from Greece the migrants whom they helped to reach Greece, if the EU countries start to accept Syrian refugees from Turkey, Plesl writes.
While Merkel evidently agreed upon the plan with the Turks beforehand, the other countries’ leaders were evidently taken by surprise and they logically refused to approve it, Plesl writes.
For Kurds, for example, the approval would have been what the “Munich treason” is for Czechs, Plesl says, alluding to the 1938 Munich Agreement between four European powers that bound Czechoslovakia to cede its border areas to the Nazi Germany.
The Brussels meeting thus brought about no decision, in spite of European Council head Donald Tusk’s statement that the uncontrolled stream of migrants along the Western Balkans route is over, and Merkel’s statement that the Turkish proposal would be a breakthrough, if successfully implemented, Plesl writes.
The question is whether it can be implemented adequately. It is clear that the Turks will do their utmost for Europe to accept as many Syrian refugees as possible from Turkey. This will raise the resistance of three European governments at least – Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Plesl writes.
The reaction of Prague is uncertain, because the recently leaked e-mails of PM Bohuslav Sobotka’s aide Tomas Prouza showed that Sobotka tends to enquire in Berlin what Merkel would like Prague to say. In this case, too, it is impossible to rely on Prague’s loyal siding with Budapest, Warsaw and Bratislava, which are its allies in the Visegrad Four (V4) group, Plesl writes.
In any case, it is clear that the question of refugee relocation quotas will appear on the EU’s agenda again. The EU will either have to set a cap on refugee acceptance or give up the deal with Turkey, Plesl writes.
The deal might even fall through if the cap were set, because this would be logically disliked by Turkey, he says.
The negotiations at the EU summit next week will be extremely hard, and, most probably, they will be inconclusive again, Plesl writes.
After the March 5 Slovak general elections, political analysts said Slovak voters reacted to the anti-migrant card played by Social Democrat PM Robert Fico by directly supporting even more radical extremist parties. This is nonsense. The Slovaks mostly voted for parties whose approach to migration was identical with Fico’s. However, a number of them voted for new and anti-system parties, Plesl writes.
This trend can also been seen elsewhere in the West. People react to the incapability of their respective countries’ leaders to face crises, let alone dangers, Plesl writes, adding that the latest EU summit is another proof of this.
Europe fully depends on developments outside its territory and it is incapable of protecting itself against the invasion of civilians evidently infiltrated by IS fighters, Plesl writes.
Voters naturally lose their confidence in and respect for such Europe’s leaders, who are even incapable of coping with Turkey, Plesl concludes.