Kalinak: Slovakia Won’t Support Newest Migration Proposal of EC

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Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (archive photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 4 (TASR) – Slovakia won’t support the newest proposal sponsored by the European Commission that obligates countries refusing migrants resettlement to pay financial compensations, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD) said after Cabinet on Wednesday.

Kalinak called the motion a backward step that doesn’t reflect reality. Furthermore, it is tabled at a time when the migration flow across the western Balkans has been stopped and an agreement with Turkey concluded. “All these represent instances of consensus that came into existence with great difficulty against the backdrop of the migration crisis and suddenly – in the midst of these extremely sensitive talks – a motion is tabled that takes us back nine months,” said Kalinak.

Kalinak pointed out that the proposal has to navigate a long political path ahead before coming into effect and the way is blocked by EU member states and the European Parliament. “I’m telling you straight away that Slovakia won’t support the proposal, but we’re always striving to have the largest possible number of countries seek sensible solutions,” said Kalinak, who doesn’t expect the proposal to win support from many countries.

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak (Smer-SD nominee) fails to understand the proposal, seeing as the EU has embraced the stance that the migration is not only about quotas but rather the tackling of its underlying causes. However, Lajcak said that he wouldn’t like to blow the situation out of proportion because it’s only a proposal at this stage. “We know what kind of climate prevails among member countries,” he said.

Lajcak concurs that the debate on migration has taken a backward twist, as the latest talks among European interior ministers were headed towards tackling those issues on which consensus exists. “I had a feeling – and it wasn’t just me – that the debate was headed this way, which all of us appreciated. Suddenly, it’s as if this proposal was designed to take us back a few months. To quantify the value of a migrant in money goes too far in terms of ethics and other things I don’t even want to name. Really, I’m having a trouble understanding all this,” he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission announced its intent to introduce significant changes to the European asylum policies with an eye towards alleviating the pressure on the overburdened countries. The Commission wants EU members rejecting the migrant resettlement mechanism to pay the financial compensation to those countries that participate in the system.