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Euroviews. View: Visegrad nations protect the EU. It's time to say 'Thanks'

Hungary's border fence
Hungary's border fence Copyright Reuters
Copyright Reuters
By Euronews
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent in any way the editorial position of Euronews.

By Bill Ravotti

As the migrant crisis continues to bring chaos and potential danger to Europe, Angela Merkel and the government of Germany are now offering rejected asylum seekers benefits in kind worth up to €1,000 if they voluntarily return home.

This was unspeakable in Germany a few years ago, but a hard reality seems to have silenced the "we can do it" slogans of the past.

In Europe, hundreds of thousands of registered asylum seekers have just vanished. Some may be terrorists who managed to blend-in with the refugees at the border. Others may have fallen prey to the hordes of criminal organizations that thrive under the “dark side” of open borders.

The idea of allowing millions of migrants — without knowing who they are first — to enter Europe from regions well known for persecuting non-Muslims and containing Islamic jihadists who have declared Europe as their “next Syria” was not compassion but sheer lunacy.

Germany's “open border” rhetoric and policies 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 and around Europe in very unsafe conditions.

Some migration activists and bureaucrats in Brussels have shamelessly tried to slander the Visegrad4 nations for their so-called lack of "EU Solidarity" regarding the migrant crisis, especially their refusal to accept the forced relocation quotas from Greece and Italy. However, there was never any "European Solidarity" for open-borders or mass migration. This was a myth invented by the leaders of Germany and Brussels for their own benefit.

The Visegrad nations (V4) are made up of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.

Contrary to the narrative provided by many media outlets, Visegrad wants to help the war refugees, but they refuse to compromise the safety and security of their own citizens. They want to know exactly who is coming to their country and they will determine who and how many will stay. Unlike Germany or Sweden, they took preventive measures to control events, instead of allowing the actions of others to control them. They certainly don't need lectures from the leaders of Italy, nor will they be bullied and blackmailed by Brussels.


From the beginning, the PM of Hungary Viktor Orban and the leaders of Visegrad offered sound solutions to the migrant crisis including:

  1. Securing the borders first in order to separate the true war refugees from the economic migrants. They have consistently offered troops and equipment to both Italy and Greece to help them secure the external borders, but their requests have been rebuffed.

  2. Providing secure “safe camps” for the refugees outside of the EU in order to protect them from all the risks and mayhem associated with open borders and to provide a shield of safety for Europeans to protect them from the dangers of unknown roaming migrants.

  3. Offering assistance and funding to organizations which help the refugees in their homelands or close to them. Assisting true war refugees closer to their homes can help a greater number of refugees and is often the most efficient, productive and humane way to help those in need.

For instance, a Syrian Bishop has personally thanked Poland for its support and successful projects, adding “The Polish government is the only one that helps us to stay in Syria.”

Hungary is assisting refugees in Iraq and Nigeria, where the government helped with the reconstruction of four schools and one hospital in Nigeria's Maiduguri diocese.

The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to some 80,000 refugees. Last year the Czech government sent 40 million crowns to Jordan to finance housing units for some 2,000 refugees. Aid money earmarked this year is being used for the camps electrification and Czech doctors are performing life-saving surgeries.

Radio Prague quotes one of the doctors in charge: “Previously patients were flown to the Czech Republic on a special plane and were given treatment there for three to four months. So we could only help a relatively small amount of people. Now for the same amount of money we are able to treat many more. ”

Defending Europe

Despite the venomous attacks against them by the media and some world leaders, the Visegrad nation states must be given credit for helping to reduce the flow of migrants to Germany and Central Europe, curtailing the migrant demand for Greece and protecting all Europeans from the many dangers associated with open borders and illegal migration.


Instead of relying on Germany or Greece, Viktor Orban and the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) – which includes the four Visegrad countries plus Austria, Croatia and Slovenia – took matters into their own hands (along with Macedonia) by securing the Balkan route that closed the migrant pipeline from Greece to Germany.

The decision to close the Balkan route, which pre-dated the EU-Turkey deal, was the key to reducing the flow of illegal migrants to Central Europe and cut the migrant demand for Greece. While Greece still has issues with capacity, this is due to their own actions and refusal to send all "irregular" migrants back to Turkey as stipulated under the EU’s agreement with Turkey.

Ironically, Germany is now dependent on Hungary and the CEDC to secure their border. While Merkel called the Balkan effort “not her Europe”, Germany has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the CEDC’s preventive actions.

Last month, a potential major catastrophe in Europe was avoided thanks to the joint efforts of Austria and Hungary. A Pakistani man, known as the “Pakistani butcher”, was apprehended among a group of migrants near Hungary’s southern border. Detectives in Austria said that “the butcher” was a professional gunman accused of around 79 contract murders in Pakistan.


This is a reminder that Europe remains exposed to open borders and mass migration. The CEDC’s mission is to protect the region from illegal migration by securing the borders. What are the leaders of Sweden, Germany and the EU Parliament doing to protect Europeans?

The leaders of Visegrad have absolutely nothing to apologize for and the PM of Hungary, Viktor Orban, has been out front regarding the migrant crisis since the fall of 2015. Although they will not openly admit it, some European leaders are realizing he was correct.

This week, EU Council President Donald Tusk, a harsh critic of the V4, is set to announce that the issue of mandatory quotas has proven to be highly divisive and the approach has turned out to be a failure, adding that “only member states are able to tackle the migration crisis effectively” while the EU’s role is “to offer its full support in all possible ways to help member states”.

Has Visegrad become the new "counterweight" to Germany and France in Europe? We think they have, especially with the new coalition forming in Austria that shares many of the V4's positions on migration.


We believe the Visegrad nations from Central Europe are the future of Europe. They contain some of the fastest growing economies in the EU and there are no cultural clashes or terror on the streets of Visegrad. They consider relocation quotas a “nonsense” and remain focused on providing the energy and ideas to help the true refugees without sacrificing the security and safety of their own citizens.

Instead of attacking the nations of Visegrad, the leaders of the European Union must start listening to them.

Onward V4!

Bill Ravotti is a former Republican nominee for US Congress who has spent the last 16 years living in the Czech Republic during the summer months and Christmas season. He is the editor of the V4 Report blog.** **


**The views expressed in opinion articles published by Euronews do not represent our editorial position. If you want to contribute to our View section, email ideas to: **

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