The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Sebastian Kurz: Friend of the Visegard Group (V4)

In the last decade the European Union has become multifaceted in its attempts to consolidate further integration of its component parts. The EU Army, Pesco, migrant quotas, extension of the Euro and other core changes to its members has produced a counter-strategy in the form (like a Phoenix) of the Visegard Group. The Visegard group or V4 as it is also known – The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia have a shared history as far back as the 14th Century. Collectively they have endured occupation by the Mongols, Ottoman Empire, Russians and Germans. Some would argue that they are now under the heel of the EU. Perhaps someone ought to tell politicians like Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki that.


In the last few weeks Sebastian Kurz of Austria has joined the Visegard Group and Donald Tusk in rejecting EU mandatory migrant quotasi. Some have argued that Tusk is a "political opportunistii." Others have been less kind. However, it would be difficult to argue that the Visegard Group is being opportunist in its own attempts to change attitudes to Open Border migration. In this context a tougher stance can arguably be posited by the UK government on immigration during Brexit negotiations. After all it was one of the core characteristics of the leave vote on 23 June 2016. The Brits it appears are not alone in wanting to halt the tide of immigration from within and beyond the EU.


The troubles that lie beyond Brexit for the fastidious EU are emblematic of the continued power struggles within Brussels itself. Countries like Greece and Italy require the burden of homing thousands of newly arrived migrants to be dealt with in Brussels, but as has been previously stated, members elsewhere in the EU do not feel that they should be obliged to sign up to such a reckless policy. Primarily this is due to the financial and social impacts that inevitably result. In no way does such a policy address the domestic concerns of the member states of the Visegard Group and their supporters. What it does do though is give a green light to human traffickers and others involved in drug smuggling and other illegal activities beyond the EU. It is an unintentional consequence, but a consequence nonetheless It does not dissuade for example NGOs or charities who may profit from growing numbers of migrants. The migrants thus become victims like the beleagured member states of the EU. Some would argue that as Angela Merkel encouraged the arrival of so many thousands that perhaps Germany should foot the resulting bill for member states caught up in the resulting relocation plan.


It is reported by the V4 Report that Dimitris Avramopoulos, an EU Commissioner, has asked Norway to take as many migrants as possible as part fo this relocation plan. Other European countries have been encouraged to do the same. Again, this in no way stems the tide of migrants, but encourages a free flow from areas like Libya in North Africa. However to date the EU has failed to address this point in any constructive or meaningful way. The respect member states have for the EU executive who have appeared to bully the UK in public has obviously waned. The current limit of the EU is 28 member states - with at least 4 of them evidently disagreeing with the current erroneous policy on migration. Perhaps the writing is on the wall after all.



i www.thelocal.at/20171215/austrias-chancellor-in-waiting-sebastian-kurz-sides-with-eu-countries-opposed-to-migrant-quotas
 ii v4report.com

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Saturday, 20 January 2018