European Commission ‘still does not understand’ solution to illegal migration, Czech PM Babis says after new policy announcement

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has rejected the new EU migration policy proposal, calling parts of it “nonsense.” Brussels wants countries to admit relocated asylum seekers and also to pay for sending them home.

“At first glance, it seems that the European Commission still does not understand that the solution to illegal migration is to stop illegal migrants when they arrive on European soil,” Babis said.

On Wednesday, Brussels proposed a new “flexible” migration policy. The member states would be given options to admit “some” asylum seekers relocated from other EU countries, to “sponsor” the return of rejected asylum seekers to their countries of behalf of other member states, and to help with “operational” measures.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson explained that the scheme will provide “clear, fair and faster border procedures so that people do not have to wait in limbo.” She said Europe should “aim to have legal pathways for more migrants and more refugees.”

Babis said called the deal “unacceptable.”

The strategy should look like this – the people coming from these countries, they should be stopped and turned back to their countries and be given help there.

The Czech PM said that Europe should focus on strengthening border protection, rather than forcing those states refusing to accept migrants to pay for the repatriation of rejected asylum seekers. “This is essentially nonsense, because if we don’t accept migrants, we can’t return them.”

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Over a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa arrived into the EU by sea in 2015 alone. Many became stranded in overcrowded refugee camps on small Greek islands. Brussels wanted to tackle the sudden influx by forcing each member state to accept and settle a designated number of people relocated from countries such as Italy and Greece. This method was promoted by France and Germany, who called for “concrete solidary” in handling the crisis.

However, countries like the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland and Hungary have been revolting against the idea of mandatory quotas on accepting migrants.

The Hungarian government said on Thursday that its position on quotas remained “unchanged,” and that the EU must keep “the looming migration pressure outside our borders.” Budapest proposed to focus on helping foreign countries improve their living standards, arguing that “instead of importing the trouble to Europe, we must bring help to where it is needed.”

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Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the new EU plan will not solve the major issues of the migration crisis. 

The breakthrough will come when the Hungarian proposal is accepted that says that nobody can enter the territory of the European Union until one of the member states closes their asylum procedure.

Shortly before the plan was announced, Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressed that the mandatory quota system has failed in the past and “won’t work” in the future.

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