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Discord on migration at the EU summit

February 22nd, 2016

Analysts on Right and Left think that the crisis of the EU may deepen further still if member states insist on their own national interests. They do not agree, however, on whether the crisis should be overcome by strengthening national sovereignty or  by further centralization.

The EU has shown its worst face, Áron Kuthi in Magyar Nemzet comments on Friday’s EU summit. The conservative columnist finds it daunting that all parties tried to push their own agendas in a such a brazen way. By way of example, Kuthi mentions Italian PM Renzi’s threat to cut the funding of the Visegrad countries unless they agree to participate in the migrant quota system. In conclusion, Kuthi thinks that the EU’s migration crisis can only be overcome if the external borders of the EU are protected so that EU member states do not have to pass problems on to each other.

Népszabadság in a front page editorial also suggests that the EU summit appeared to turn into an exercise in horse trading. Instead of seeking a common solution to the problems of migration, all heads of states are concerned only with their own national interests. The leading left-wing daily thinks that in this bargaining between nation state actors, the common EU interest will be lost and the crisis of the EU will become ever deeper.

In Népszava, Mária Gál suggests that Matteo Renzi’s threats to withhold funds from the V4 countries are groundless. In the current EU framework, there is no effective means to sanction those states which in Gál’s view, refuse to take on their shoulders the burden of solidarity with other EU members. Gál suggests that PM Renzi’s threats clearly indicate that the core EU states are willing to further centralize decision-making in order to save the EU.

Brussels is trying to use the buzzword of solidarity in order to force Visegrad countries into submission, Zoltán Kottász writes in Magyar Idők. The pro-government commentator thinks that ‘solidarity’ as advocated by core EU states in practice means that all member states should agree with what the core EU countries dictate. Kottász writes that the same western EU states that want to vilify and exclude Hungary and other Visegrad countries not willing to participate in the distribution of migrants, have shown no solidarity with Greece or other peripheral countries hit hard by the financial crisis.

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