Slovakia prepares alternative reform of asylum system EU-2

Permanent mandatory quotas are politically dead, Slovak PM says.

L-R Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the Summit in Brussels.L-R Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the Summit in Brussels. (Source: SITA)

Slovakia, in cooperation with the European Commission (EC) is working on an alternative proposal for the reform of the asylum system, EU-2, that could replace the system of mandatory quotas, said Prime Minister Robert Fico at the summit of the European Council in Brussels on October 20.

“I announced to colleagues that we want to introduce an alternative proposal on how to proceed with asylum system reform right after the summit,” said Fico, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

Fico pointed out that current EC’s proposal for reform has little support among the EU member states as it contains a permanent system of mandatory quotas. Hence he is considering submitting an alternative system, which he wants to introduce next week, as an obligation of the Slovak presidency of the EU Council.

“Quotas are politically dead, no one respects and applies them but they are legally alive because the decision of interior ministries still exists,” Fico said.

Read also: Fico: Quotas are politically finished Read more 

While each state is willing to show solidarity, they can do it in another way, said Fico who wants to push the Slovak proposal to political negotiations after a future summit of the European Council in December 2016, perhaps with the support of several EU PMs, TASR wrote.

At the beginning of the summit, Fico met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who expressed support for the EU priorities agreed at the informal meeting of EU leaders held in Bratislava on September 16. The Slovak PM underlined that the Slovak presidency managed to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change and help Bulgaria with the protection of the external border of the EU.

Read also: Bratislava EU summit copes with existential crisis Read more 

In addition, Fico declared that the EU is very close to an approval of the trade agreement with Canada, CETA, and the final decision will be made perhaps tonight, TASR reported.

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