Revolt brewing in Eastern Europe over EU refugee plan

The European refugee crisis, which disappeared from the front pages for a while, is roaring back to prominence in the media as member states by majority vote are set to cram a 17-point plan to deal with the crisis down the throats of a dozen or more countries that are unalterably opposed to it.

Eastern European countries are being ordered, against their will, to take in numbers of refugees for which they are unprepared financially and culturally.  This disagreement appears impossible to paper over as the EU did with the debt crisis for so many years because it goes to the heart of the idea of "sovereignty" within the EU and the rules governing its membership.

Philip Johnson writing in the Telegraph:

Arguably a transit centre in Europe might be preferable to a refugee camp in Jordan or Turkey, though the latter at least has the merit of being close to Syria, where there are finally tentative signs ofsome political progress being made. But having encouraged people to move, the Europeans are now pulling up the drawbridge because they have found dealing with the influx overwhelming. Where were the preparations? Why were fleets of buses and trains and boats not laid on at the borders of the EU to bring people safely to Germany, which is, after all, where most people are headed?

At an ill-tempered summit in Brussels on Sunday, European leaders belonging to the borderless Schengen area blamed each other for the crisis before finalising a 17-point plan to be foisted upon countries that don’t agree with it. Since the opponents comprise more than a dozen of the 28 member states, the scope for serious disagreement is clear, not least because the process for sharing out migrants was imposed by majority voting. The countries that are in the front-line of this crisis are understandably seething:Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, accused the German chancellor of “moral imperialism”.

This will unleash extremist politics in Europe. In Germany, the anti-immigrant Pegida movement is attracting thousands to its rallies and in France the Front National continues to gain support. Elsewhere, Eurosceptic parties are making inroads. In Portugal, a Syriza-style leftist minority government has taken office opposed to the eurozone’s fiscal rules; and in Poland, the Law and Justice Party is back in power, pledged to oppose any Brussels diktat on migrant quotas. Against this backdrop, which can only darken, Britain has to decide over the next two years whether to remain part of an increasingly unstable organisation.

So how does this work?  If Hungary refuses to take its "quota" of refugees, what enforcement mechanism is there for Brussels to get Orban to bend the knee?  They could throw Hungary out of the Schengen region, but wouldn't Orban love to be seen punished by the EU for standing up for Hungarian national culture? 

And the defiance won't be limited to Hungary.  Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and other Eastern European states being slammed by refugees are facing a catastrophe, as the human flood has, if anything, increased in recent weeks, leading to fears of a humanitarian crisis as the weather turns colder and wetter and countries don't have the resources to shelter, clothe, and feed the multitudes.

At the very least, the refugee crisis is changing the EU in ways it never intended.  When all is said and done, the continental union may be less cohesive, and probably smaller as some states exit the EU in order to assure their national survival.

The European refugee crisis, which disappeared from the front pages for a while, is roaring back to prominence in the media as member states by majority vote are set to cram a 17-point plan to deal with the crisis down the throats of a dozen or more countries that are unalterably opposed to it.

Eastern European countries are being ordered, against their will, to take in numbers of refugees for which they are unprepared financially and culturally.  This disagreement appears impossible to paper over as the EU did with the debt crisis for so many years because it goes to the heart of the idea of "sovereignty" within the EU and the rules governing its membership.

Philip Johnson writing in the Telegraph:

Arguably a transit centre in Europe might be preferable to a refugee camp in Jordan or Turkey, though the latter at least has the merit of being close to Syria, where there are finally tentative signs ofsome political progress being made. But having encouraged people to move, the Europeans are now pulling up the drawbridge because they have found dealing with the influx overwhelming. Where were the preparations? Why were fleets of buses and trains and boats not laid on at the borders of the EU to bring people safely to Germany, which is, after all, where most people are headed?

At an ill-tempered summit in Brussels on Sunday, European leaders belonging to the borderless Schengen area blamed each other for the crisis before finalising a 17-point plan to be foisted upon countries that don’t agree with it. Since the opponents comprise more than a dozen of the 28 member states, the scope for serious disagreement is clear, not least because the process for sharing out migrants was imposed by majority voting. The countries that are in the front-line of this crisis are understandably seething:Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, accused the German chancellor of “moral imperialism”.

This will unleash extremist politics in Europe. In Germany, the anti-immigrant Pegida movement is attracting thousands to its rallies and in France the Front National continues to gain support. Elsewhere, Eurosceptic parties are making inroads. In Portugal, a Syriza-style leftist minority government has taken office opposed to the eurozone’s fiscal rules; and in Poland, the Law and Justice Party is back in power, pledged to oppose any Brussels diktat on migrant quotas. Against this backdrop, which can only darken, Britain has to decide over the next two years whether to remain part of an increasingly unstable organisation.

So how does this work?  If Hungary refuses to take its "quota" of refugees, what enforcement mechanism is there for Brussels to get Orban to bend the knee?  They could throw Hungary out of the Schengen region, but wouldn't Orban love to be seen punished by the EU for standing up for Hungarian national culture? 

And the defiance won't be limited to Hungary.  Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and other Eastern European states being slammed by refugees are facing a catastrophe, as the human flood has, if anything, increased in recent weeks, leading to fears of a humanitarian crisis as the weather turns colder and wetter and countries don't have the resources to shelter, clothe, and feed the multitudes.

At the very least, the refugee crisis is changing the EU in ways it never intended.  When all is said and done, the continental union may be less cohesive, and probably smaller as some states exit the EU in order to assure their national survival.