The night was not enough to find a solution and overcome the resistance of Poland and Hungary to the text of the European Council conclusions on this issue. The Presidency of the European Council has put various mediation proposals on the table, but none have been adopted by Warsaw and Budapest, which European sources say have adopted a political position independent of the document’s content.
However, there is a growing desire among leaders to go beyond unanimity, a position summarized by European Council President Charles Michel during the press conference at the end of the summit this afternoon.
For the Brussels European Council On the issue of immigration, “there was no unanimity, but a broad convergence at 25, which hadn’t happened in previous years,” he stressed. Poland and Hungary got just one sentence in the conclusions published by President Michel, in which he reports that their statements against the Immigration and Asylum Pact agreement endorsed by EU interior ministers during the June 8 summit “to Noted” were made in Luxembourg. On the other hand, according to Michel, “the agreement is valid and must be implemented by the member states”, whatever Hungarian and Polish Prime Ministers Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki say.
Chares Michel at a press conference in Brussels
The ‘pact’ on migration and asylum ‘will not be damaged because it has not been discussed, because it has not been discussed in the Council. It’s not an issue that’s being raised,” the prime minister said. Giorgia Meloni, in a press point. “It was a question on which the position of Poland and Hungary was to express a dissenting opinion because it had already been accepted. The pact is not discussed, for us it improves the rules, but I don’t think we have solved the problem.” Migration with the migration and asylum pact. I think for us it’s an improvement on the rules, but I still think the issue should be approached from a different angle and that’s the one I’m working on and everyone agrees. So it’s a win-win situation.”
Giorgia Meloni in Brussels
The grounds of Poland and Hungary
The focus of the dissent is the agreement on the “internal dimension” of the EU immigration and asylum pact, which the interior ministers reached in Luxembourg on June 8 with a qualified majority against the votes of Poland and Hungary. The notion of “internal dimension” refers in particular to the so-called “binding solidarity” that would oblige Member States to decide whether to resettle quotas of migrants (set according to objective criteria) from the countries of first entry to their territory or alternatively pay 20,000 euros for each unwelcome migrant. And that is precisely the point that Budapest and Warsaw absolutely do not accept and would prefer to repeal. Furthermore, both states deny that such decisions can be taken by qualified majority voting by competent ministers in the EU Council (as provided for in the treaty), and claim to continue as has been the case for the past seven years, when immigration decisions were made were, there was never a vote without the consensus of all countries.
Meloni sees Orban and Morawiecki on the sidelines of the EU summit on 06/30/23
Meloni media on behalf of Michel: “The question asked by the Poles and Hungarians is not far-fetched. We keep working on it”
“Although I fully understood the positions of Poland and Hungary, with the consent of all other countries, I tried to mediate until the end. We keep working on it. For example, I will be in Warsaw on Wednesday. That’s it.” A task that must continue to be done,” said the prime minister. “The question asked by the Poles and Hungarians,” he noted, “is not far-fetched, because Poland and Hungary are the two nations in Europe that take care of the largest number of Ukrainian refugees. They are doing this with insufficient Commission resources.” “There is only one way to solve the problem for everyone and that is to address the primary movements, otherwise it will be impossible to address the secondary movements,” he affirmed.
The debate in Brussels is therefore focused on the “external dimension”, or rather on the package of measures – from cooperation with third countries to border management – to reduce the number of arrivals.