Brussels, June 29 (TASR correspondent) – Slovakia can accept as many as 1,200 migrants to assist neighbouring countries that find themselves in need; however, no migrants will come to Slovakia without the Government’s consent, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) said on Friday in reaction to an agreement on migration achieved at the EU summit in Brussels.
According to Pellergini, the talks in Brussels were very tough; they took 10 hours and ended as late as at five in the morning. We managed to create a document that the Slovak Republic, but chiefly the European Union can be satisfied with, as we all bear this responsibility for the European Union… I appreciate that the discussion has moved from the level of enforcing relocation and mandatory quotas to the level of rigorous external border protection, which was one of the main issues,” said the prime minister, adding that this is something Slovakia has been pushing for a long time.
In line with the wording of the agreement, the Frontex agency should be strengthened and increased in terms of finance, as well as technical means. According to Pellegrini, the EU was invited to revise the system of hot spots in third countries. If any migrants arrive in EU countries, however, it has been agreed that “controlled centres can be set up in the first-line countries”, though these would be established on a voluntary basis.
In this connection, Slovakia needed to be assured that no mandatory redistribution conditions would apply. “No migrants will arrive in Slovakia without Slovakia agreeing on it,” said Pellegrini. According to him, Slovakia “rather perceives” it still has the capacity to provide temporary help – for example, by placing asylum seekers from neighbouring countries that find themselves in need, such as Austria, on its territory. Slovakia is able to accept as many as 1,200 migrants this way, in kind of start-up facilities, stated Pellegrini.