Visegrád countries assure Italy of their support
19. 07. 2017.
In a letter sent on Wednesday to Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni by the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries (V4), the V4 countries assured Italy of their support in the European migration crisis.

According to the letter uploaded to the website of the Visegrád cooperation, the prime ministers continue to be ready to contribute to the best of their ability to Italian and European efforts aimed at halting the illegal flow of migrants from Libya and other parts of North Africa towards Europe – and especially towards Italy.

The prime ministers wrote that they are convinced that the root causes of migration should be addressed effectively, and that related policy should reflect the fact that the vast majority of those arriving in the migration wave are economic migrants.

In the letter, Viktor Orbán, Robert Fico, Bohuslav Sobotka and Beata Szydło stated that “We believe that genuine asylum seekers should be identified before entering the territory of the European Union. Our external borders have to be protected”.

The stance of the V4 countries is that the European Union and its Member States should mobilise financial and other resources to create safe and humane conditions in hotspots or reception facilities outside the EU.

In a spirit of solidarity, the V4 leaders stated that they are ready to meaningfully contribute to all European and national efforts aimed at alleviating the burden on frontline Member States such as Italy, “With the exclusion of actions and instruments that may create further and stronger pull factors for migration, especially in relocation and compulsory and automated redistribution mechanisms”.

If they are requested to do so, the countries of the V4 are ready and willing to contribute to alleviating migration pressure – particularly in the Mediterranean – in five ways: contributing to EU activities on Libya’s southern borders; assisting in setting up, protecting and creating humane conditions in hotspots for asylum-seekers outside the territory of Europe; contributing to the training of Libyan coast guards; strengthening the capacities of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO); and assisting in the development of a code of conduct for NGOs.

Concluding their letter, the prime ministers of the Visegrád countries state the following: “Let us reiterate our common support to your country and propose a dialogue to identify the most necessary means of contribution.”