The Visegrad Group of countries, consisting of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, announced on Thursday that they would not participate in the European Commission’s mini-summit on immigration organised by the Commission in Brussels on Sunday.
The prime ministers of these countries, meeting in Budapest, questioned the legitimacy of the mini-summit but said that they will attend the regular summit of the Twenty-eight scheduled to be held at the end of the month, also in Brussels.
It is not the Commission’s place to organize any prime ministerial summit,” said the Hungarian leaders Viktor Orbán, following a meeting with the leaders of the Visegrad countries and Austria in Budapest on Thursday. “I want to unequivocally emphasize that the prime ministers of the Visegrad Four agreed that they are not going” to Sunday’s mini-summit, he said.
“We looked at the documents that the European Commission sent us about the Sunday mini summit. We have concluded that they are warmed-up, past proposals which we neither understand nor accept,” added his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki.
The mini-summit, which bring together at least a dozen European leaders, including the Italian, Greek, Maltese, Spanish, Austrian, Bulgarian, Belgian and Dutch leaders, is open to other European countries wishing to join, the Commission said on Wednesday.
According to a provisional working document circulated before the summit, the participants in the meeting must, among other things, commit themselves to accelerate the referral of asylum seekers from one EU country to another according to the Dublin Regulation.
The text also provides for the establishment of an “effective solidarity mechanism” with mandatory distribution of migrants among the different member countries, a proposal that the Visegrad countries have categorically rejected for more than two years.