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Prague

Central Europeans mull civil-military alliance against migrant influx

Defense ministers from Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia met in Prague earlier this week to discuss the details of Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC).

Published: June 23, 2017, 7:53 am

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    The Hungarian Ministry of Defense has released a statement about the initiative titled, “Central Europe stands united against mass illegal migration”’.

    The six countries will set up “the framework of civil-military cooperation” for the region’s security against the influx of “mass illegal immigration” from the Middle East and Africa. The meeting is a fresh response to the on-going crisis that Brussels and certain other EU member states choose to ignore.

    “At the meeting, the participants issued a short declaration which welcomes the Joint Action Plan and calls on the interior ministers of the involved countries to finalize it in the shortest time possible,” the Hungarian statement reads. “The declaration takes note of the unified situation assessment, which facilitates the quick and joint mobilization of civilian, police and military capabilities, and states that the most important task is the protection of the external borders of the EU and the elimination of the root causes of migration in the sending countries.

    “It underlines that the CEDC member countries are willing to further enhance their cooperation and, if needed, to provide mutual assistance in the interest of managing the migration crisis. The declaration also emphasizes the importance of preserving stability in the Western Balkans.

    “Finally, the participants of the meeting talked about the wider context of Europe’s security situation and the next steps in strengthening the European common security and defence policy,” the statement concludes.

    The European Commission recently initiated legal action against Hungary, Czech Republic, and Poland for having refused in 2015 EU-imposed “quotas” of “refugees”. The implementation of the Council Decisions on relocation “is a legal obligation, not a choice” EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in a press release last week. “These fundamental values apply to all our policies and migration is no exception. We cannot and we will not leave those Member States with an external border on their own,” he added.

    While the Czech Republic admitted 12 migrants, Hungary and Poland have accepted zero mandated migrants.

    Former Czech president Vaclav Klaus declared last week that it was time for the Czech Republic to leave the EU altogether. “The time has come to prepare our country to withdraw from the EU,” he told the media. “We reject the EU’s plan to use foreigners to displace Czechs, and we refuse to allow our country to be transformed into a multicultural society with maladjusted communities, which is what we see today in France and the UK.”

    Klaus added that mass immigration has opened countries to terror attacks: “And that’s not to mention the now almost daily terror attacks which are linked to mass migration.” He condemned the EU’s decision to launch legal proceedings, calling for them to be contested “both in principle and vociferously”.

    Czech President Miloš Zeman said the country’s sovereignty must be defended: “The duty of any president is to defend their country’s national interest. Our national interest is precisely that we, as a sovereign state, are able to decide who to place and who not to place in our territory.”

    Viktor Orban echoed similar sentiments: “We do not want parallel societies, we do not want population exchanges, and we do not want to replace Christian civilization with a different kind,” he said in a recent speech. “Therefore we are building fences, defending ourselves, and not allowing migrants to flood us.”

    Mariusz Błaszczak, Polish interior minister, said in an interview cited by the National Review that taking in migrants would be worse than facing EU sanctions. “The security of Poland and the Poles is at risk” by taking in migrants, he said, “We mustn’t forget the terror attacks that have taken place in Western Europe, and how — in the bigger EU countries — these are unfortunately now a fact of life.”

    He said taking the more than 6 000 migrants allocated by Brussels would “certainly be much worse” for the nation than any sanctions.

    In Poland, a survey has shown that less than 10 percent of respondents disagree with the statement that “all immigration from majority Muslim nations should be stopped”.

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