Having failed to bring central and eastern Europe into line on migration policy for the past five years, the European Union has decided to offer financial incentives for countries such as Poland and Hungary to accept quotas of refugees and migrants.

Each migrant would come with a 10,000 euros payment, or 12,000 for each child, paid for from the EU budget.

Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for home affairs, added that there is a new reality. “We need to deal with the real situation and not deal with the situation that people have in their heads,” she told reporters. “Most (arrivals) are not refugees: two-thirds of irregular arrivals will have a negative decision.”

However, also part of the reality is the fact that many if not most asylum seekers disappear in the host country after their asylum claims are rejected. Fewer than 30 percent of those ordered to leave the EU in 2019 – 491,200 in total – were returned to their country of origin.

As part of the new plan, states that do not want to take migrants will be able to volunteer to help fund reception centres in frontline states. “Everybody has to do their share of the solidarity,” Johansson said.

Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia are likely to reject the new initiative, regarding it as bribery. Also, the economies of central and eastern Europe states have developed faster in recent years than the western and so-called front-line countries and this makes them less susceptible to swallowing the sugar-coated pill out of financial necessity.

FILE PHOTO: Migrants wait to be processed. Reuters