Speeches

27. 5. 2015 20:55

Czech government does not agree with introduction of mandatory quota in response to migration crisis

We shall not close our eyes and pretend that the current migration crisis is not happening. Czech Republic will not shy away from its responsibilities, we are a solidary country. Czech government is prepared to make every effort to protect the lives of migrants. We have decided to take in and provide healthcare to sick Syrian children, we will provide education to Syrian students and we have decided to step up our aid to refugees in third countries.

The package of specific aid and measures which was published by the European Commission today and which counts on, among other, mandatory distribution of migrant does not take into account the conclusion of the April session of the European Council. Experience gained in previous years clearly shows that the central and eastern European countries including the Czech Republic are not the true destination where the migrants from Africa and Middle East would wish to build their futures. On the contrary, we are the destination country for refugees from post-Soviet republics. Mandatory quota and re-distribution of migrants without any regard to their free will does not represent a long-term sustainable solution of the present migration crisis.

Conversely, the quota may indeed encourage migration to the European Union in the situation when Europe is unable to repatriate illegal immigrants to the countries of their origins. The Czech government must therefore remain in its position and disagree with the introduction of mandatory quota and we shall proceed in this manner to defend this position during our discussion with European partners.

Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic

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