V4: EU’s Migration Policies Should Be Based on Flexible Solidarity

A family photo of the EU leaders at the informal summit at Bratislava Castle. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – The EU’s migration policies should be based on the principle of flexible solidarity, reads a joint statement from the Visegrad Four (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) presented at the informal EU summit in Bratislava on Friday.

It is necessary to halt the influx of illegal migrants. The V4 countries stress, therefore, that a boost in cooperation with third countries, including Turkey, and safeguarding of the outer Union border must be among the key instruments. The protection of borders of EU member countries and third countries located on the migration routes is viewed by V4 as an effective way of dealing with migration,” reads the statement.

In terms of security, V4 highlights the need of tackling terrorism and cross-border crime. “The response must be flexible and aimed at practical solutions. We should focus our efforts on full implementation of commitments that already have been approved concerning the bolstering of security in the Schengen Area and the protection of outer borders. With this respect, it is necessary to make the European Border and Coast Guard operational as soon as possible,” appealed the four-bloc in reference to an initiative recently signed by Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the EU Presidency Ivan Korcok and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

According to the V4, current challenges faced by the EU confirm that Europe can be strong only when Union member countries and their people are given a strong say in decision-making processes. This includes two priorities: loyal cooperation and balance between European bodies in line with current treaties, and a boost of the role of national parliaments.

At the same time V4 called on preserving and respecting the diversity of EU member countries, and urged that EU’s legislative norms must be applied in an equal manner in all countries.

Also, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia called for a better use of existing instruments for information exchange and cyber-security.

Meanwhile, the Central European quartet supports the setting up of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), which is similar to the American ESTA.

“We should also specify how cooperation should be bolstered in order not to introduce duplicitation of task with NATO, and at the same time we should implement a European global strategy without any further delays,” added the joint V4 statement.