Valletta, November 4 (TASR correspondent) – Both the Netherlands as well as Malta have welcomed the Slovak initiative regarding migration, despite having their own opinions on this matter, stated Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico after a meeting of the presidency trio of the EU Council in the Maltese capital of Valletta on Friday.
Fico said that he took the opportunity to present the so-called effective solidarity proposal to address the migration crisis, which has been drawn up by the Slovak Presidency.
“We propose that everyone will have to show some degree of solidarity, but we’ll choose by ourselves what this solidarity will look like,” said Fico.
“If we (Slovakia) don’t want to receive migrants – and we don’t want to – we can, for example, send more police officers, we can allocate more money, we can provide more experts; the solidarity can be expressed also via a mechanism we employ in Gabcikovo where we are helping Austria with their asylum seekers. But on principle, I repeat once again, I’m against mandatory quotas and no one can force a sovereign country to receive people at its territory based only on the decision of the Council of interior ministers,” he added.
Fico stressed that EU-member states have to seek a compromise regarding migrants and the idea that each country would be able to express its solidarity towards migrants in its own way is one of the solutions.
The Slovak prime minister along with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Maltese Premier Joseph Muscat further discussed current issues, such as the presidential election in the United States, the political situation in Italy and the UK. “It was an extremely open meeting and it suggests that we’ll face very difficult political discussions at the EU summit in December,” said Fico.
Rutte as well as Muscat praised the Slovak Presidency especially for its major successes – launching the new European Border and Coast Guard and ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement. They both admitted that although the views of EU-member states vary as regards the migration issue, they will have to try to find a compromise.
“We have a common stance on Brexit – the 27 countries managed to reach a unified stance, but as for migration we have a long way to go,” said the Maltese prime minister.