Fico: Quotas are politically finished

Slovak PM claims migrant quotas still divide the EU.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Source: SITA)

Quotas for distributing asylum seekers among European Union member states are “politically finished”. Such a statement was voiced by Prime Minister Robert Fico on September 26, as reported by the Reuters newswire.

Former communist states situated in eastern Europe have strongly opposed the policy adopted last year to tackle the migration crisis that would require all EU countries to take in some of the hundreds of thousands of people seeking asylum in the bloc, Reuters wrote. Slovakia, which currently presides over the EU Council, and Hungary have both sued the EU over the mandatory quotas.

“Quotas today clearly divide the EU, therefore I think they are politically finished,” Fico said in Bratislava, as quoted by Reuters.

As the EU struggles to display unity after UK voters decided to leave the club in June, leaders have avoided contentious questions like quotas, instead focusing on protecting EU borders and cooperating with the asylum seekers’ countries of origin, Reuters wrote.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel conceded defeat in her year-long quest to convince her country’s EU partners to accept migrant quotas at a meeting of EU leaders in Bratislava on September 16. She agreed to let eastern European states off the hook by embracing their proposal of “flexible solidarity”.

“What the Visegrad countries – including Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – have been saying since a year and a half ago now becomes official EU policy,” said Fico, as quoted by Reuters. “Whoever wants to divide Europe, let them put quotas on the table, who wants to unite Europe, let them come up with a different concept of the fight against illegal migration.”

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