Originally published on the Prague Morning.
Czechia – Andrej Babiš has said there is ‘no way’ the Czech Republic will agree to Brussels’ demand that the nation accept a quota of migrants from the third world.
Speaking in the country’s parliament on Thursday, March 1, the recently elected Czech Prime Minister slammed the European Union’s (EU) mandatory quota scheme as “ineffective” and divisive.
“It is certain that we will not accept anyone, and we are fundamentally against anyone dictating to us who should live and work in our country,” local media reported him saying.
“We consider it absurd that the European Commission sues us for something that is nonsense,” Babiš added, regarding the EU’s decision to sue Czechia alongside Poland and Hungary over their refusal to take part in the quota scheme.
Passed in 2015, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the continent’s borders, the controversial rule dictates that asylum seekers who arrive in Europe seeking a new life are “fairly” redistributed across the bloc through a quota system.
Highlighting other contributions Czechia has made to solving the migrant crisis, which includes having sent extra police officers to Hungary and Bulgaria to help protect the external EU border, Babiš pointed to the 35 million euro contribution from Visegrád 4 nations to help Italy crack down on people trafficking from Africa to Europe.
The EU should instead concentrate on securing the bloc’s external borders, according to leaders of the four countries. However, the European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos recently insisted it would be “unacceptable” for unwilling nations to not take part in the migrant redistribution scheme.