Latvian Parliamentarians appeal to EC to stop sanctions against Visegrad countries

By initiative of National Alliance “All for Latvia!” – “For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK” MPs of Latvian Parliament appeal to European Commission to stop planning of sanctions against Visegrad countries. Parliamentarians emphasize, that European Union was created as union between sovereign countries, and all decisions regarding resettlement of migrants between countries are decisions that should be made on a voluntary basis by EU Member states not by the enforcement by the majority.

The text of the letter is as follows:

European Commission

of the European Union

Communique

Members of the Saeima of the Republic of Latvia statement on the European Commission’s decision to launch infringement procedures against Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

 22nd of June, 2017

Rīga

The Members of Saeima have taken note of the European Commission’s decision to launch procedures concerning breach of member states’ commitments against Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary following their lack of participation and declaration to accept refugees as part of the relocation scheme established in 2015, thus entailing that the three states could face fines and other sanctions. Members of the Latvian Parliament object to the actions taken by the European Commission and ask to cease all further action until the delivery of the judgement of the European Court of Justice on the complaints against the legality of the relocation scheme.

 EU ministers approved on 22 September, 2015, by qualified majority a plan to share out 120,000 refugees across its 28 states, overriding the opposition from the Visegrád four (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic). Since then, Slovakia and Hungary have taken the EU to the Court of Justice over the relocation scheme.

The Members of Latvian Saeima urge the European Commission to cease all further action with regards to carrying out infringement procedures until the delivery of the judgement of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to underscore the legality of these actions. The complaints, brought by Hungary and Slovakia, maintain that the content of the decision has many procedural mistakes and it has the character of a legislative act which, thus, would have been had to been adopted through a normal legislative process. The countries reiterate their position that migration policy falls within the competence of nation states, thus calling for the distribution process to be annulled.

The court’s advocate general, Yves Bot, will issue his legal opinion on 26 July – a non-binding statement on the court’s ultimate ruling. The final decision can be expected before the end of the year. If the court decides that the quotas indeed violates European Union law, the EU migration policy must be renegotiated and thus the sanctioning of countries who do not follow this potentially illegitimate scheme would be unlawful. The countries have stated that they will accept the verdict of the ECJ.

The Members of the Saeima urge the European Commission to consider the contributions and the solidarity Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have made and shown to the resolution of the migrant crisis. Furthermore, we would like to emphasize that no EU member state has thus far fulfilled its commitments stemming from the 2015 relocation decisions and to date less than 1/3 of the total legally foreseen commitment has been fulfilled by the participating Member States. In addition, Austria, which to date has not relocated any single migrant, is not subject to any infringement procedures in this regard.

The Members of the Saeima further believe the previously discussed infringement procedures against the three Visegrád countries risk having broader consequences including further rise of euro-scepticism in the above countries, thus also putting at risk the future of the EU and the currently proposed Union’s development scenarios. European Commission president Jean Claude-Juncker has repeatedly stated that this Commission is a political one. Within the context, we believe it is unhelpful to politicise the migrant relocation scheme by singling out countries whose public stance contradicts that of the European Commission.

At the same time, the Members of the Saeima believe that a political decision by the Commission to not take any action against the three Visegrád countries is necessary. A move towards punishment and infringement procedures will only deepen the rift between the EU Member states and move us away from a comprehensive migration policy solution that is acceptable to all Member states. The Members of the Saeima urge the European Commission to resist taking pre-emptive steps before the delivery of the judgement by the European Court of Justice.

European Union was created as union between sovereign countries, and all decisions regarding resettlement of migrants between countries are decisions that should be made on a voluntary basis by EU Member states not by the enforcement by the majority.

The Members of the Saeima ask the European Commission to stop all pre-emptive steps before the delivery of the judgement by the European Court of Justice.

Rihards Kols, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Edvīns Šnore, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Jānis Dombrava, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Gaidis Bērziņš, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Kārlis Krēsliņš, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Aleksandrs Kiršteins, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Inguna Rībena, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Andris Buiķis, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Janīna Kursīte-Pakule, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Ritvars Jansons, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Imants Parādnieks, Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai!”- “Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”

Nellija Kleinberga, Latvijas Reģionu apvienība

Mārtiņš Šics, Latvijas Reģionu apvienība

Jānis Ruks, Latvijas Reģionu apvienība

Ivars Brīvers, Latvijas Reģionu apvienība

Rihards Melgailis, Latvijas Reģionu apvienība

Ringolds Balodis, “No sirds Latvijai”

Arvīds Platpers, “No sirds Latvijai”

Inguna Sudraba, “No sirds Latvijai”

Gunārs Kūtris, “No sirds Latvijai”

Jūlija Stepaņenko, “Saskaņa”

Edgars Putra, Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība

Valdis Kalnozols, Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība