The news are indicative of the growing gap among the EU members.
Leaders of the Visegrad Four countries of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will skip a mini summit on migration this weekend, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday. Orban said such meetings should be organized by the European Council, the bloc’s top decision-making body, not the EU Commission. The Commission will organize the smaller summit ahead of a full EU summit due next week, Reuters said. Speaking in Budapest after a meeting of the Visegrad Four leaders, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the EU border agency Frontex should be strengthened and its forces beefed up substantially. Babis said he agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on this, and believed Frontex should be increased to 10,000 staff.
The latest years, Visegrad group countries have strengthened ties, as a result of the total failure and inability of the EU mechanisms to deal with the huge refugee crisis. Far-right, xenophobic political forces, is some cases, are taking advantage of this failure to increase power and influence inside these Central-European societies.
The well-known Guardian columnist, Owen Jones, wrote recently:
At the very least, article 7 of the Lisbon treaty – which demands “all EU countries respect the values of the EU” – should be activated, with the suspension of Hungary’s voting rights and other sanctions. This demand has already been made by the European parliament’s civil liberties committee, which lists 12 breaches ranging from the weakening of the judiciary to restrictions on free speech. But Hungary, along with increasingly authoritarian Poland, is making an utter mockery of the EU’s stated commitment to democracy and human rights. In 2016 Luxembourg’s foreign minister called for Hungary to be expelled from the EU because of its treatment of refugees. He was right. Yes, the EU is buffeted by multiple crises, from Brexit to the assumption of power of a Eurosceptic Italian government. But its acceptance of its own member states succumbing to authoritarianism may prove its greatest existential threat of all.
What Jones is missing here, is that the EU officials, especially after the eruption of the economic crisis in Europe, have essentially torn into pieces the handbook of the European principles. Therefore, it is simply impossible even for the EU itself to prove its "commitment to democracy and human rights."
Many members of the eurozone experienced the undemocratic nature of the EU. And this is something that fueled nationalists in the UK and pro-Brexit vote.
The Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists impose brutal neoliberal policies and fiscal discipline on devastated economies (like Greece), supposedly in the name of the Union 'rules', only to preserve in life Germany's surpluses through a failed model.
So, if you want proof that the EU officials apply the rules of the Union completely selectively, you should ask why these rules have not yet been activated in the case of the Visegrad group countries. And this is the first question that someone should ask. The answer is simple: because inside a fierce global geopolitical war, the EU (and especially Germany), fear that a significant part of the Eastern Europe may fall into the hands of Putin and the Russian sphere of influence.
Recall that recently, Putin enjoyed a warm welcome in Austria by Sebastian Kurz who defied the official EU line against Russia. Note that many believe that Austria is flirting with the Visegrad group and potentially will join the group in the near future. It's quite possible as Austria has also adopted a far-right, xenophobic policy.
Russia's influence could be expanded even further after recent political victory of the anti-establishment forces in Italy. EU officials, again, remained silent against Salvini's totally unacceptable decision to shut ports to migrant rescue ship Aquarius. Yet, the top hypocrite Emmanuel Macron, played the role of 'progressive' by furiously condemning Salvini's decision. Of course, he didn't dare to take the initiative to accept the ship in a French port as eventually did the Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez.
Inside this 'harmonic' atmosphere, which leads to the darkest scenarios for Europe, it is natural for Russia to exploit circumstances in order to expand its influence beyond the pipeline geopolitics.
But if authentic progressives, like Owen Jones, really want to find the roots of this mess, they should focus on the clowns who are in charge of the EU, driving the European car straight to the cliff. And that's because these clowns insist on the failed neoliberal model in order to secure the interests of their wealthy sponsors.