Hungary, Poland undermine EU unity on migration policy

Brussels, Jun 30 (EFE).- Hungary and Poland have refused to back a deal to reform how the European Union handles irregular migration.

At the end of an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, EU leaders were keen to focus on the broad consensus among the 25 other member states for the European Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Warsaw and Budapest have not given their support for the deal, however, over concerns about a proposed quota and penalty fees for relocating asylum seekers within the EU.

The push for reform has mostly come from countries on the bloc’s external borders, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta, that have complained of having to shoulder too much of the burden caused by increasingly large numbers of irregular migrant arrivals through the Mediterranean.

In recent weeks hundreds of migrants have died attempting to reach Europe by sea, after an overcrowded fishing trawler that had departed from Libya en route to Italy sank off the coast of Greece.

“Since February, a lot of progress has been made, there is a will to act in the most operational way possible,” said the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who stressed that “today we have an overwhelming majority” that supports the migration reforms.

He added that although “two countries have stated that they are in total disagreement” with the pact and the decision-making process – referring to the fact that unanimity is not necessary for migration issues – “25 countries, on the other hand, support it”. EFE


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