Refugees crossing illegally the Evros River, the natural border between Greece and Turkey, have divided once again the European Union between southerners’ countries on the Mediterranean coasts, against former communist states that refuse to host part of the refugees and migrants land from the Middle East and Africa.
At the epoch when refugees plea for help, European Union leaders divide themselves into two different axes. The Mediterranean countries affected by the migrants' arrival seeking help to resolve the immediate issue, while the North-East countries refuse their duty on hosting refugees.
However, European Union leaders’ summit in June is aiming to reform their broken migration and asylum system that has defied resolution for nearly three years.
Germany, the wealthiest European country, is pushing for a deal under which no one could bail out completely from hosting refugees coming.
The latest proposal on the table allows the any EU countries for not accepting their “fair share” of asylum-seekers who make it to Europe. Instead, they would offer 30,000 euros to an EU host for each individual they refuse.
However, the proposal is “absolutely not” acceptable for many EU countries for a different reason though. Countries such as Poland and Hungary staunchly opposed any obligatory immigration quotas. While the five Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece rejected the proposal in a joint paper for the exact opposite reason. They believe that such option would not have enough “immediate positive impact” in easing the burden on the main countries of entry.
The dissonance shows that the last year reform of the EU leaders’ failed to break the three years deadlock.
The interior ministers meeting of the EU countries early next month in Brussels will discuss the migration and asylum reforms and then will pass over to the leader’s summit on June 28-29.
The tough negotiations started in the summer of 2015 as southern arrivals in the EU spiked, overwhelming EU governments and feeding support for anti-immigration parties. The wound has since festered, undermining trust between EU states.
“The latest draft on the table is a good basis for compromise since ‘everybody is almost equally unhappy with it’, except Warsaw and Budapest that are still against it,” said a senior diplomat of a wealthy EU country.
The Hungarian new government rhetoric, used to deny access to people from the mainly-Muslim Middle East and North Africa, is to preserve Hungary’s security and Christian culture.