The Migration Crisis has divided EU members. The inflow of newcomers will last longer and the dissonance between Germany and the Visegrad Group will increase. There are no benefits to gain from it, except for Vladimir Putin.
The issue of immigrants and refugees is kindling European nations. Politicians have lost their senses, they are governed by their emotions. Mistakes of the past cannot be fixed and the results will be harmful for the European unity for the years ahead.
Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, known as informal Visegrad Group (V4), reject refugee quotas system1 forced by Germany and France. This will complicate the relation within the European Union in the future, signs can already be seen.
Western media, particularly the German one, are leading the campaign against their eastern neighbors. Hungary is criticized and compared to Nazis2, while they are struggling to respect the Dublin Regulations3, the European law on asylum seekers. As we have learned from last financial crisis in the USA and the debt crisis in Greece; disregarding of previous determined principles are always leading to political tragedy.
It started with criticism on the Hungarian Prime Minister Orban for closing the border. Currently Germany and Austria are copying Orban’s policy, by restoring border-control and deploying their army to protect4 their border.
„Die Welt”, one of Germany’s leading news papers, editorial accuses eastern Europeans of a lack of „sense of shame, intolerance, narrow-mind and xenophobia”. The editor slanders Poles as antisemitic („Poles actually killed more Jews than Germans during the war”5) and he now faces an investigation into the insult of the Polish nation. France also deemed refugees policy in eastern Europe as „scandalous”6.
European member of Parliament Martin Schulz, threatened Eastern Europe to use a „force” in order to impose „European community spirit”7. Interior Minister of Germany, targeted its eastern neighbors, proposing sanctions on these EU states that reject the EU refugee quotas8. Even the American New York Times joined in on this lynch mob, charging the ex-Communist countries of „a mix of powerful far-right movements, nationalism, racial and religious prejudices”9.
According to Eastern European countries, it is the next proof of the irresponsibility and myopia of western European politics. The West is doing everything to alienate eastern europe and vice versa. Germany and chancellor Angela Merkel are losing the popularity they used to have in Poland10 and other Eastern European countries. This is an advantage for Russia, which during the Ukraine crisis tried to gain support from Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
As everything in this world is connected, Putin currently strengthening its presence in Syria is not unrelated to the current refugee crisis that spills into Europe.
While many in the West still see the US as the main target for Jihad fighters, Russia, Central Asia and West China are much more prone to Jihad attacks. Syria attracts many Muslim fighters from Chechen, Caukasus, Europe and Central Asia, using Turkey as the main gateway.
A defeat of the Free Syrian Army FSA (ISIS, Al Nusra, etc) in Syria and Iraq does not mean the annihilation of the FSA, but it will push these battle harden fighters back into Turkey. Putin understands that a victory for Assad and a defeat of the FSA will trigger a new wave of refugees and he has seen that Turkey will not hesitate to direct them in to Europe.
In July, the Syrian conflict received a new dimension as Turkey started fighting Europe-US main ally, the Kurds, in the advantage of the FSA. US-Germany trained and armed Peshmerga’s are now in a full blown war with the Turks. At the same time refugees stranded in Turkey started to pour into Europe. The refugees reaching Europe now, have been in Turkey for about two years, sometimes facing food crisis’11 without proper support from Europe.
While politicians are still able to maintain a different narrative, the relation between Europe and Ankara has never been as bad as it is now.
Independently if the quotas system is maintained, the Visegrad Group will join Greece as countries with a population with a negative attitude towards Germany.
Basically, refugees, mostly Syrians, do not want to come or stay in the V4-countries. They prefer to go to Germany or Sweden for social and economical reasons. Locating them in countries like Poland makes little to no sense, they will leave legally or illegally to the Western countries. According to the polish newspaper “Rzeczpospolita”, more than 35% of Syrian refugees in Poland left just after receiving refugee status. The rest is expected to do the same, rendering the whole Juncker plan worthless. Even if the V4 countries agree to the quotas, those people could not be forced to stay in Poland or Slovakia as prisoners. EU Commission12 and German politicians’13 recommendation, to deprive the refugees the right of choice, is not in accordance with human rights.
It is also hard to see how the V4 countries are able to carry out the process of integration of war traumatized newcomers, as they do not have any experience with immigration problems. The great difference between western and eastern EU members is the willingness to create multicultural societies. For the V4 governments it would be a electoral suicide to propose a multicultural societies, as their homogeneous populations are sensitive to limitation of sovereignty14. Allowing the EU Commission or other to decide, who can enter the country and in what numbers is out of the question in these countries.
While Germans are proud of welcoming refugees, countries like Poland and Slovakia are wondering, how many of them only want to get money from the welfare benefits. Polish media, dividing migrants in economical and political refugees, present examples of false ID’s15 and ex-jihads or financing the smugglers by Saudi Islamic sources. Slovaks Prime Minister estimates that 90% of migrants are not refugees in need16. Support for admission of migrants decreases and divides the Polish society17.
Even if the EU agrees and countries comply to the EU quotas the V4 countries, which were not the destination of refugees, are not able to stop or keep them as they escape illegally to Germany, France or Sweden. Germany, Sweden and France, being the main destination, not able to cope socially, will blame the V4 for not keeping faith.
Europe will diverge more and more as the V4 countries will still be homogeneous, while western Europe becoming a multi-cultural society. Making quotas even harder to maintain, as the next migrant waves come.
Euro skepticism will grow in the V4 countries. Nationalists forces in France, Sweden, Denmark and even in Germany are arising. Crucial are also the economic consequences, while many in Germany and the Netherlands see the newcomers as needed labor resources in ICT and Technology, this could be wishful thinking as many came from underdeveloped countries.
The second scenario – The quotas system is never accepted. Politically it would be a blow to V4, because western Europe condemns the lack of solidarity and blames V4 for this crisis. Now it seems that the migration issue is very important for both sides, „ideological” division is very deep. Germany in this scenario does not accept NATO bases in Poland, so the Middle-East Europe is exposed more to Russian eventual influence or invasion. The willingness to support the V4 financially will be reduced, while the support for the EU in V4 is strongly connected with EU-funds.
The refugee crisis adds to a geopolitical „black-scenario” in Europe: the EU is strongly divided ideologically and politically between „old”-multicultural and „new”-homogeneous members. Poland has to turn to the USA because of an increasing threat from Russia. Meanwhile, Czechs, Slovaks (the only Euro members) and Hungarians are searching for new places in Europe’s geopolitical system. Such complications can really heat up the atmosphere. Given the current refugee crisis, a defeat of the FSA (and ISIS) and a victory of Assad will add more fuel to the European refugee fire, and that will be an extra bonus for Putin’s Syrian policies.
1. EU fails to reach deald on migrant quotas Source: The Telegraph 14-09-2015
Core of ex-Communist eastern states block efforts by Germany and France to secure agreement on sharing out responsibility for sheltering refugees.
2. Austrian chancellor compares Hungary’s treatment of migrants to the Jews under the Nazis Source: The Telegraph 12-09-2015
The neighbouring countries exchange bitter recriminations as Hungary struggle to contain the inflow.
3. Die Kritik an Ungarn ist unredlich Source: Der Tagesspiegel 05-09-2015
Auf der Suche nach europäischer Solidarität im Umgang mit Flüchtlingen misst Deutschland mit zweierlei Maß. Ungarn respektiert die EU-Regeln. Ein Kommentar.
4. Austria says army will help impose tougher border checks
Source: Reuters 14-09-2015
Austria said on Monday it would dispatch the armed forces to help impose additional controls on its eastern border, belatedly following Germany’s example as thousands of migrants streamed across its frontier from Hungary on foot.
5. Die Osteuropäer haben kein Schamgefühl Source: Die Welt 13-09-2015
Voller Freude wurden Polen und Ungarn EU-Mitglieder, wegen der “gemeinsamen Werte”. Und nun lehnt man Flüchtlinge ab. Das herzlose Verhalten und die kaltschnäuzige Rhetorik sind beispiellos.
6. France criticises eastern Europe, Hungary over refugee policy Source: Reuters 30-08-2015
Aug 30 French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius accused eastern European states, notably Hungary, on Sunday of a “scandalous” policy towards refugees going against the values of the European Union.
7. Martin Schulz und das »Europa des Gemeinschaftsgeistes« Source: Youtube 09-09-2015
8. Berlin calls for sanctions on EU states that reject refugee quotas Source: Deutsche Welle 15-09-2015
Germany wants to cut European Union funding to countries that refuse to share the burden of hosting refugees under a quota system. A crisis meeting of EU ministers failed to reach an agreement on managing the influx.
9. Eastern Bloc’s Resistance to Refugees Highlights Europe’s Cultural and Political Divisions Source: The New York Times
WARSAW — Even though the former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been asked to accept just a tiny fraction of the refugees that Germany and other nations are taking, their fierce resistance now stands as the main impediment to a unified European response to the crisis.
10. Poles love Merkel Source: Radio Poland 25-07-2015
The Polish stereotype of “the odious German” has long passed out of date, writes German newspaper “Suedwest Presse.”
11. 1.7m Syrian refugees face food crisis as UN funds dry up Source: The Guardian 01-12-2014
World Food Programme forced to suspend food voucher scheme to refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
12. Refugee Crisis: European Commission takes decisive action – Questions and answers Source: Europa.eu 09-09-2015
What is the European Agenda on Migration? Tackling migration is one of the ten political priorities of this Commission.
13. Refugee crisis: Emergency EU migrant talks as border controls return to Europe
Source: The Telegraph 14-09-2015
Germany and Austria temporarily reintroduce border controls as tens of thousands of migrants pour in ahead of talks on Monday.
14. Sisyphus und die Solidarität Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung 16-09-2015
Ja, es ist erschreckend, wie manche Politiker in Osteuropa über Flüchtlinge reden und sich gegen deren Aufnahme sperren. Aber man wird dieses Problem nicht durch die Ausgrenzung und Bestrafung dieser Länder lösen.
15. Journalist orders fake Syrian passport for Dutch PM Mark Rutte Source: NL Times 16-09-2015
Journalist Harald Doornbos managed to get his hands on a genuine Syrian passport displaying a photo of Prime Minister Mark Rutte. All it took was one phone call and a 40 hour wait. “All you need is the telephone number of one of the many passport forgers and converted 750 euros.”
16. Even if quotas passed by majority, Slovakia not to give consent: Slovak PM Source: China.org.en 17-09-2015
If the mandatory quotas on resettlement of migrants are passed next week in Brussels by a qualified majority despite the disapproval of Slovakia, the Slovak Government still won’t give its consent to them, claimed Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in the Parliament on Wednesday.
17. Video: EU refugee quotas expose Polish divide Source France 24 13-09-2015
As Europe’s interior ministers gather on Monday to discuss the continent’s migrant crisis, Poland’s stance on the issue of compulsory refugee quotas could prove decisive.