The interior ministers of the Visegrad group have warned that the
introduction of a permanent mechanism similar to the mandatory quotas for
redistribution of immigrants across Europe may deepen the migrant crisis.
In a joint declaration issued in Bratislava the interior ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland rejected the pressure that the European Commission is exerting on countries that failed to accept the required numbers of asylum seekers.
They argue that the only way of resolving the migrant crisis is through the protection of the EU’s external border, coordinated aid to the countries from which migrants are coming and bilateral agreements with their governments which would help to curb the flow of migrants.
In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York on
Tuesday, the Czech president, Miloš Zeman, told the gathered world leaders
that the world community was still hesitant to fully engage in the war
Mr. Zeman said the United Nations required a strong agency that would be capable of also employing military force to combat what he called “terrorist anti-civilisation”.
The Czech head of state said some terrorists were active under cover of mass migration, a trend that he also said was causing a brain drain from undeveloped African states.
Deputy Trade Minister Karel Novotný from the Social Democratic Party caused a stir by putting hate speech on Facebook. The deputy compared Romanies to jellyfish, saying they were troublesome and useless. Trade Minister Jiří Havlíček promptly distanced himself from the statement, saying it was totally unacceptable. The minister told the news site Aktualne.cz he would speak with his deputy in person before deciding on what course of action to take.
The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to some 80,000 refugees. Even with international aid pouring in, living conditions in the camp are extremely harsh. Last year the Czech government sent 40 million crowns to Jordan to finance housing units for some 2,000 refugees. Aid money earmarked this year is being used for the camps electrification. And Jordan is one of the countries targeted by the Czech government’s humanitarian medical aid program MEDEVAC, thanks to which around a thousand patients will be operated on this year. I spoke to Jordanian
The German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, made his first official to
Prague on Tuesday. After being welcomed at Prague Castle with full military
honours by Miloš Zeman, Mr. Steinmeier and his Czech counterpart discussed
a range of issues, including refugees.
Mr. Zeman reiterated his opposition to the Czech Republic being forced to take in migrants by the European Union, while Mr. Steinmeier said it was important that the European Court’s ruling on the matter be respected.
In what was a brief meeting, the two heads of state also spoke about business cooperation between their two states, transport infrastructure and the UK’s planned exit from the European Union
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has rejected criticism from Brussels that
the Czech Republic had failed to meet its EU obligations by refusing to
take in the migrants allotted to it under the mandatory quota
In a letter to the EU commissioner for migration, minister Chovanec said the Czech Republic was helping in other ways and was one of the most active countries in doing so.
He noted that since 2015 the Czech Republic had sent 68 experts to the so called hotspots to help with the registration of refugees, over 5,000 Czech police officers have helped protect the borders of Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and other states and the Czech Republic has sent 640 million crowns in aid to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon to help deal with the migrant crisis.
The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the law which
would give the Czech Ombudsman’s Office the power to check whether
foreign nationals from other EU states do not face discrimination at the
The amendment transposes an EU directive into the country’s anti-discrimination law. It will guarantee foreign nationals from EU member states equal opportunities on the labour market, including social and tax advantages.
The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate and be signed by the president.