Czech PM says Europe doesn't need new migration plans, should work on agreed measures

by Reuters
Wednesday, 9 September 2015 10:18 GMT

(Adds quote, Czech priorities)

PRAGUE, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Europe needs to implement measures already agreed to deal with its migration crisis rather than draft new plans, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Wednesday after the European Commission presented new proposals.

The Czech Republic is among four central European countries that have been resisting pressure to accept mandatory quotas to redistribute some of the hundreds of thousands of migrants flooding into Europe to flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

"I am convinced that Europe does not need new plans how to solve the migration crisis," Sobotka said in a statement.

"It is necessary to move from negotiating tables to action and to work hard on those measures that we have approved with other EU leaders and agreed on in the past months."

Sobotka reiterated his opposition to quotas, saying that discussion on their implementation was holding Europe up from taking necessary actions.

Sobotka, however, said he was pleased that the Commission's plan puts more focus on long-term measures, and said the country was prepared to do its part in dealing with the situation.

He said the Czech government's priorities were improving protection of the external borders of the EU's border-free Schengen area as well as defining safe countries whose citizens will be swiftly rejected asylum.

The EU should also quickly build "hotspots" on Schengen borders to process asylum claims, provide aid to countries where people migrate from, and work toward ending wars in Syria and Libya.

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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