poland and hungary reject eu council’s proposal on asylum policy solidarity and sharing mechanism
Poland and Hungary vigorously opposed the recent proposal by the European Union (EU) Council to put in place a “solidarity and sharing mechanism” for asylum policies. The goal of the strategy was to harmonise the bloc’s refugee regulations to lessen the load on gateway nations like Italy and Greece. However, Poland and Hungary voted against the measure due to worries about the cost and the potential for greater migratory waves. To achieve cooperation in the EU’s immigration policy, this essay examines the causes of their disagreement.
Background: Burden on Gateway Countries
The main entry points for migrants trying to enter the European Union have been Italy and Greece due to their geographic location and accessibility by water. Brussels initially proposed a programme whereby northern and eastern EU member states would accept migrants based on the size of their populations, realising the unequal load on these countries. Individual state adherence to these quotas remained optional, though.
The Compromise Deal and Opposition
According to last week’s compromise agreement, EU member states might choose not to adhere to the set asylum seeker quotas in exchange for a financial payment of €20,000 ($21,553) per relocation to a fund run by Brussels. This substitute was thought to be a method to allay the worries of nations who opposed mandatory quotas, such as Poland and Hungary.
Poland would obstruct the suggested alternatives for relocating migrants, according to Piotr Müller, a spokesperson for the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) administration in Poland. According to the administration, the Council’s attitude exhibited short-term thinking and would ultimately result in an increase in migrant waves.
Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, also voiced resistance to the idea. The spokeswoman for Orban, Zoltan Kovacs, wrote on Twitter that Brussels shouldn’t misuse its authority and that the government’s anti-immigration stance represents the will of the Hungarian people.
Implications and Concerns
The opposition from Poland and Hungary underlines the ongoing difficulty in attaining unity in EU immigration policy. Although a qualified majority is sometimes insufficient to assure long-term commitment and compliance, migration and asylum policy do not require unanimity. This is because of prior experiences.
These nations’ resistance to forced quotas results from worries about the cost and possible societal repercussions. Poland, for example, has been taking in a sizable number of Ukrainian migrants, making it the nation where there are the most Ukrainians looking for safety. Polish leaders contend that they handled the refugee crisis successfully and are hesitant to accept what they see as unreasonable demands.
Poland, Hungary, Malta, Slovakia, and Bulgaria rejected the idea, raising concerns about the future of EU immigration and asylum laws. Final negotiations on the issue are scheduled to take place in 2024 in front of the EU Parliament, although a cohesive stance among the member states is challenging to achieve.
Criticism of the Proposed Asylum Reform Policy
The suggested reform programme, according to critics, does not address the long-standing shortcomings in the EU’s refugee system. The concept was criticised by Stephanie Pope, an Oxfam EU migration expert, who claimed that it was an attempt by EU nations to escape their obligation to accept refugees. She stated that rather than putting pressure on non-EU nations to take on Europe’s obligations, the EU should concentrate on creating a comprehensive and equitable system.
Poland and Hungary’s rejection of the EU Council proposal serves as a reminder of the EU’s challenges in forging unified refugee and immigration policies. These nations disagree with the suggested remedies due to worries about mandated quotas’ cost and possible effects. The EU must address these issues as negotiations proceed and work towards a thorough and equitable framework that fosters solidarity and efficient handling of migration.