EU migration policy: Poland and Hungary vs. the rest

The row over Europe’s migration policy continues: Poland and Hungary refused to sign a final declaration at the EU summit, which was broken off on Friday. The two countries argued that the obligation to admit refugees or pay penalties under the new rules would be an encroachment on their sovereignty. However they cannot prevent the new regulations that were agreed at the beginning of June from coming into effect.

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Poland disgracing itself in election campaign

Rzeczpospolita considers the blockade unwise:

“We are sending a signal to our partners in the EU that we are capable of committing any and every stupidity in the election campaign. Of announcing a referendum on a law that has not yet been finally adopted. And above all, of entering into an alliance with Putin’s declared ally in Europe. The losses for Poland’s political capital, but also its moral capital, are likely to be gigantic. And the gains? Very doubtful.”

Michał Szułdrzyński
Népszava (HU) /

Hungary is Poland’s useful idiot

No one is siding with Hungary in this debate, Népszava points out:

“If an agreement is reached in the European Parliament, it will be put into practice despite everything. ... All the government has achieved with its strong opposition is to distance itself even further from Giorgia Meloni. She tried to mediate between the European Commission and Orbán at the summit, but she also clearly represented the EU’s position. ... Nobody is on our side, not even Poland: in the Warsaw election campaign we became [PiS leader Jaroslaw] Kaczyński’s useful idiots.”

Tamás Rónay (PL) /

No confidence in assurances from the EU

wPolityce shows understanding for the fact that even compromises such as a derogation for countries that have accepted at least one million asylum seekers could not change Warsaw’s mind:

“Desperate attempts to assure us that we could ‘apply’ for some discretionary exemptions have failed to dispel the concerns. We have already experienced this ‘goodwill’ and ‘fair treatment’ in the dispute over the judicial reforms, in the reconstruction plan, and in the attempts to destroy the Polish energy industry.”

Michał Karnowski
Denik N (CZ) /

Cracks in Visegrád alliance a good thing

Deník N is delighted that the Czech Republic has distanced itself from Poland and Hungary on this issue:

“For the Czech Republic, the agreement presents an opportunity to correct the disastrous reputation it gained in Europe in 2015 and the following years, when it refused to provide any assistance to the countries that were struggling with the migration crisis. That was one of the most shameful chapters in the history of our post-revolutionary diplomacy and foreign policy. The current government’s constructive approach is the right one, and all the more important because it contrasts with the Polish and Hungarian stance. We must make it clear to Europe that the Visegrád states are not a monolith of post-communist small-mindedness.”

Jan Moláček
Der Spiegel (DE) /

Solidarity can’t be one-sided

Should Hungary and Poland actually refuse to pay the compensation there must be harsh consequences, demands Der Spiegel:

“Specifically: proceedings for violating the EU treaties and a further cut in EU funds. And by precisely the amount that Poland and Hungary owe other countries for taking in asylum seekers. ... The leaders in Budapest and Warsaw should not forget: in future other countries could also block decisions that benefit Hungary and Poland. Poland in particular is dependent on the solidarity of other EU states, including Germany, in view of the threat posed by Russia.”

Markus Becker