The V4 nations are dealing with the refugee crisis properly
As the refugee crisis continues to bring chaos and potential danger to Europe, Angela Merkel and other European Union leaders are allowing compassion to imperil their security and decision making. The idea of allowing hundreds of thousands of migrants — without knowing who they are first — to enter Europe from regions well known for persecuting non-Muslims and containing ISIS jihadists who have declared Europe as their “next Syria” is not compassion but sheer lunacy.
Germany's “open border” rhetoric not only increased the dangers for all EU citizens but also for the legitimate war refugees themselves, who now have become easy prey for the criminal smuggling syndicate that transports them to Europe in very unsafe conditions, sometimes with tragic human consequences. It also encouraged “economic migrants” from places such as Albania, Bangladesh and even South America to seek the promised land.
People running away from war should be able to find a home. The EU has spelled out a set of refugee mandates in the Dublin Regulations, such as properly registering at the border and applying for asylum in the Schengen state in which they entered without the right to move freely within other states that compose the area while their application is processed.
Germany's unilateral decision to change this mandate and allow undocumented refugees to roam freely has caused chaos and confusion.
The Visegrad nations (V4) are made up of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. They are the ones upholding the EU refugee laws that Germany ignores and protecting the citizens of their country as they see fit. They want to know exactly who is coming to their country and they will determine who and how many will stay. They certainly don't need lectures from France or manipulative media nor will they be bullied and blackmailed by Germany.
The V4 countries want to help war refugees but also demand order and have proposed:
• Assisting the overwhelmed border states like Greece and Italy to secure their borders before the refugees are allowed in Europe. This will allow them to register the true war refugees and send the economic migrants back.
• Setting up safe camps for the refugees while they go through the process of applying for asylum. Britain's idea of giving first priority to those in camps inside the Middle East is excellent, since this will discourage the refugees from trying to skirt the process by taking dangerous journeys.
• Working for a solution to the civil war in Syria, which was destabilized by Saudi Arabia's support of various Islamic rebels (none too moderate) and opened the door for ISIS.
• Confronting ISIS more forcefully. It's long overdue for a quiet talk with Turkey, the NATO military power in the region, to start doing more in this aspect.
Finally, much has been said about the V4's preference for Christian refugees, and there are a number of valid cultural and historical reasons for this thinking. One factor missed by the media is that Christians have nowhere else to go. They are persecuted and discriminated against by all the Muslim countries in the region (save Jordan) and even some of the U.N. camps run by Muslims.
Christians were fleeing Iraq (2003) and Syria (2011) en masse long before this current wave of migrants, which begs the question as to just who was driving them out since ISIS was not around in 2003. It is a natural fit for small countries such as Slovakia to prefer Christians or the Czech Republic to limit refugees from other areas so they have the space to give priority to their Ukrainian neighbors fleeing Vladimir Putin.
Tragically, there are rich countries in the Arab region that have not accepted a single Muslim refugee. The Persian Gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar have the capacity, resources and experience from the first Gulf war to take them all. They certainly bear much of the responsibility for the instability in the region; it's time they start helping their fellow Muslims in need.
The V4 countries from the central/eastern wing of the EU might be the new kids on the block but they, and not Old Europe, are the future. They consider quotas “a nonsense” and remain focused on providing the energy and ideas to help solve the crisis without sacrificing the security and safety of their own countries.
Bill Ravotti, a financial adviser and past congressional candidate, lives in Bradford Woods. He resides in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, with his family during summers and Christmastime. He returned to the United States last month.