Solidarity in European Migration Policy: The Perspective of the Visegrád States
The chapter by Justyna Segeš Frelak sheds light on the reaction of Visegrád Group countries to the refugee crisis in the context of solidarity in EU migration policy. Currently, the Visegrád Group (V4) continues to be in strong opposition to compulsory refugee relocation under any scheme. At the same time, the V4 attitude towards migration fundamentally differs from that of several Western European countries. The chapter argues that this is partially connected to the fact that the V4 are among the states with the lowest percentages of foreigners in the European Union. As knowledge about immigration is limited and stereotypes are widespread, the refugee crisis has contributed to an increase in negative opinions about immigration. The anti-immigrant sentiment in the region is not based on real experience with non-nationals. In the case of the Visegrád countries, both populists and mainstream right- or left-wing parties have made use of fears over immigration for their political purposes. Furthermore, this has proven to be a very easy political tactic. Although, the engagement of civil society shows solidarity with refugees, these efforts are often overshadowed by an anti-immigration discourse.