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Nov 18, 2016

The EU's migrant relocation scheme does not work

Negotiation positions on certain provisions of European refugee policy have not converged because Holland does not share Hungary’s opinion that the distribution of refugees according to mandatory quotas is unacceptable

The EU's migrant relocation quota scheme does not work, according to a Hungarian official.

“Time has proven that the quota-based system determined by the EU for the distribution of 160,000 immigrants who are awaiting resettlement does not work, the system has failed," declared Kristóf Altusz, Deputy State Secretary for European and American Relations.

Altusz told news agency MTI that during the course of negotiations, positions on certain provisions of European refugee policy had not converged because Holland does not share Hungary’s opinion that the distribution of refugees according to mandatory quotas is unacceptable.

“The Dutch Foreign Ministry’s Director General for European Cooperation Maathijs van der Plas stressed that Holland has confidence in the success of the migration agreement concluded between the European Union and Turkey, and in the quota system for distributing the 160,000 migrants among the member states," Altusz said.

“Turkey isn’t the only country in the vicinity of Syria that is accepting refugees, and accordingly we must also pay attention to assisting the northern Iraqi region, Jordan and Libya," he said.

Deputy State Secretary Altusz and the Director General agreed that protecting the European Union’s external borders was essential for solving the migration crisis, Altusz said, adding that Holland understood the Hungarian position concerning the various forms of solidarity, but was not sympathetic to it.

“Participation in European solidarity in a ‘flexible’ or ‘efficient’ form according to differing interpretations by individual member states remains unacceptable to The Hague," Altusz said.

“We need Ukraine’s visa liberalization; Ukraine must be afforded a European perspective. It is unacceptable for certain member states to raise new obstacles to visa-free travel after Ukraine has fulfilled all of the EU’s original requirements," Altusz said.

He concluded by expressing his hope that the agreement arrived at in principle by the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) on Thursday concerning Ukraine’s visa liberalization would become reality at the earliest opportunity.