The new pact on immigration has caused serious disagreement within the EU

Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus fear that they will still have to accept the main stream of refugees.

At the end of last week, the Prime Ministers of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic at a meeting in Brussels with the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, rejected her plan for illegal immigration. The Slovak Prime Minister, another Visegrad Group country, could not travel, but delegated his authority to his Czech neighbour. The Central European Quartet, which has long been an independent force in the EU, has once again blocked the EU’s overall immigration strategy, which is being actively pushed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The multi-page document, called the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, did not please many other EU countries either. The four Mediterranean countries – Italy, Greece, Malta and Cyprus – which are the first to encounter immigration waves from North Africa and the Middle East, fear that they will continue to bear the main burden of receiving refugees. In the middle of the continent, wealthy Austria simply does not believe that the new plan will work, as it has too many opponents, and Sweden, which traditionally encourages immigration, believes that it should more accurately record the commitments of all 27 EU members.

Public organisations are also not happy about this initiative. Amnesty International (“Amnesty International”) has stated that Europe is “building even higher walls” and is not seeking to alleviate the plight of those who find themselves in refugee camps on the Greek islands or in Libya. The American charity foundation Save the Children reproached Europeans for “not wanting to learn from their recent mistakes”, and the Spanish organization Open Arms, which rescues refugees at sea, said that the new proposals said little about humanitarian aid.

Not surprisingly, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said from the outset that it is likely that “no one will be satisfied” with the new strategy, but that it can also be discussed and “built on it to build cooperation”. Recent events confirm only the first part of her assumptions.