V4 against compulsory relocation under Migration and Asylum Pact

The interior ministers of the Visegrad Group (V4), which includes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia have expressed strong objection to the compulsory relocation of migrants.

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The ministers have sent a joint letter to the European Commission (EC) Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson concerning the Migration and Asylum Pact. Poland's Interior and Administration Ministry announced on Friday that the initiative of the Czech presidency of V4 inspired by Poland's approach to migration and asylum policy, was also joined by the interior ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia.

The EU Migration and Asylum Pact is due to be published in the second quarter of this year.

“The joint letter of the ministers refers to the situation the European Union has been dealing with in recent months, i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic and increased pressure at the external borders of the EU in southern Europe, which is a reminder of the need for strengthening cooperation of the European Union with regard to migration and asylum,” the statement of the Polish ministry reads.

It was pointed out that uncontrolled migration represents a serious threat to the EU’s cohesion and decisive action is therefore required in the fight against illegal migration.

It was also stated that the document indicates the priority solutions for the state-signatories which should be taken into consideration in further work on the Migration and Asylum Pact and those solutions to which the state-signatories do not consent.

“Among the most important provisions of the interior ministers of the V4 countries and Estonia, Latvia and Slovenia are strong objection to compulsory relocation in any form, the strengthening of the external borders of the EU and the working out of solutions in the event of a crisis situation, allowing elastic reaction,” the Polish Ministry wrote.

The ministry also pointed to the need to build a cohesive and resistant migration management system in the event of a crisis, based on a balance between solidarity and responsibility.