V4 migration summit called
An extraordinary summit of the Visegrad Four (V4) is to assemble in the Czech Republic to tackle the migration crisis.
The 15 February gathering was announced on Twitter by prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who has been in talks on the issue with Slovak counterpart Robert Fico. The Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Polish government leaders are set to discuss creating better defences around the passport-free Schengen Area of 26 EU nations. Three days after their meeting, an EU summit on the huge wave of migration will be held.
The last assembling of the V4 government leaders took place in Prague at the beginning of last December. The prime ministers then agreed that all proposals for the creation of a “mini-Schengen” were unacceptable. They also spoke out against other direct or concealed attempts at limiting free movement within the EU.
Representatives of the V4 nations have lately spoken about a modification of the Schengen space. Czech foreign affairs minister Lubomír Zaorálek (Social Democrat) has said that Europe must have a Plan B ready in case there is no success in reducing the flow
of migrants. The shifting of the border line which Europe must guard is under consideration, according to him. Most often debated is a “back-up border system” running along a line from Bulgaria to Macedonia, which would effectively eliminate Greece from the Schengen Area. More northerly variants of such a border line do, however, exist.
The interior ministers of the V4 met during January in the Czech Republic, which is currently chairing the fournation grouping. In a joint memorandum, they again rejected legal quotas for the redistribution of refugees and, as a priority, they called for the fulfilment of the commitment to launch functional detention centres along the EU’s external borderline.