Political soulmates: Polish and Hungarian PMs Discuss EU Refugee Policy

December 09, 2016

Political soulmates, Polish PM Beata Szydlo and her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, have met for talks about the EU's refugee quota plans. Both oppose the policy of spreading the burden, much to Brussels' chagrin.

The two prime ministers met in the southern Polish city of Krakow ahead of the European Council summit on December 15 that is set to debate the 28-nation bloc's future, including the controversial refugee quota system. 

Orban's right-wing government has opposed the EU plan, which seeks to share 160,000 asylum seekers around the 28-member bloc via mandatory quotas. Under the scheme, Hungary would receive less than 1,300 people, but it has not accepted a single person allocated so far.

Some 400,000 migrants and refugees passed through Hungary in 2015 before the government sealed off the southern borders with razor wire and fences.

Szydlo and Orban have also both been pushing for changes in the EU that would afford member states more autonomy. Both have also been heavily criticized in recent months for perceived moves seen to undermine their respective democratic systems.   

The leader of Poland's conservative ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, is also expected to meet Orban during his two-day trip, according to Polish media.


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