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  • Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis

    Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 14 November 2018
Opinion

Several other European Union countries have already rejected or are reconsidering the pact. Both Hungary and Austria have said they will not sign the agreement at an upcoming ceremony, in Morocco, in December.

Early Wednesday, Czech Republic voted to not to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration accord, according to Reuters.      

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“The Czech Republic has long favored the principle of separating legal and illegal migration,” Deputy Prime Minister Richard Brabec stated in a news conference. “That is what the Czech Republic’s and other European countries’ suggestions aimed for. The final text does not reflect those proposals.”

United Nations Special Representative for International Migration, Louise Arbour, views the actions of the government of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis as regrettable and misunderstood, noting that the compact is aimed at improving cross-border management.

”It is always regrettable when one disengages, particularly from a process that is very respectful of national specificities. We live in an increasingly inter-connected world. It is difficult to see what the advantages are of ‘pulling-out’ on an issue which by its very nature demands cooperation."

Several other European Union countries have already rejected or are reconsidering the pact.

Namely Hungary and Austria. Both countries have said they will not sign the agreement at an upcoming ceremony, in Morocco, in December.

The head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, echoed Arbour’s concerns: “If one or two or three countries leave the United Nations migration pact, then we as the EU can’t stand up for our own interests.”

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration accord was approved by some 193 members of the United Nations, in July.

The United States backed out last year. Washington claimed that numerous provisions of the pact were “inconsistent with U.S. immigration and refugee policies” under current President Donald Trump.

Similarly, Bulgaria’s coalition government dropped out of the accord and is scheduled to vote on the issue Wednesday. Poland has also indicated a possible exit.

The pact was established after a mass movement of migrants - largest since World War 2 - of over 1.5 million people arriving in Europe from the Middle East, Africa and other shores.

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