In a defiant stance against the European Union’s proposed migration system reforms, the governments of Poland and Hungary made their opposition loud and clear during a summit of the Twenty-Seven in Granada, southern Spain.
“We are not afraid of diktats coming from Brussels and Berlin,” confidently declared Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, upon his arrival at the informal summit, firmly rejecting the agreement reached just two days earlier among EU member states regarding the distribution of illegal migrants.
Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the challenge of reaching a compromise in the face of being forced to accept policies that go against their preferences.
“If you are forced to accept something you don’t like, how is it possible to reach a compromise, an agreement? It’s impossible,” he asserted.
The issue of immigration, which has long been a contentious topic among EU member states, was added to the agenda of this summit following a recent surge of migrants arriving on the shores of the small Italian island of Lampedusa. This surge served as a stark reminder of the pressing need for a coordinated European response to the ongoing migration challenges.
On Wednesday, the ambassadorial representatives of EU countries managed to reach an agreement on a regulation that would establish a mandatory solidarity mechanism among member states.
This mechanism would come into play in the event that one of the member states faces an “exceptional situation” due to “massive” arrivals of migrants at its borders.
However, Poland and Hungary stood firmly against the proposed regulation, casting their votes against the text. Meanwhile, Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic opted to abstain from the vote.
This division among EU member states threatens to impact the formulation of a joint statement on migration, highlighting the deep-seated disagreements within the union over this crucial issue.