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The clash in foreign policy deepens the gap between East and west of the EU

The ministers of the Interior will discuss the asylum policy again this week

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The clash in foreign policy deepens the gap between East and west of the EU

Tensions between East and West Europe are exacerbated. The controversial issue of migration, which faces both blocs since 2015 and will revive again this week, joins or more recent chapters, also far-reaching. The relationship with US and EU budget battle furr cracks relationship between old EU and some of its most recent members, especially Hungary and Poland.

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Seldom a matter of relevance concites unanimity in Community club. The slam that American President Donald Trump gave to Iran's nuclear agreement was one of m. Following abandonment of this framework, endorsed by UN and European Union, EU countries articulated a mechanism to shield European companies from extraterritorial sanctions that United States will impose on those who do business in Iran. The Community institutions welcomed consensus that had started this proposal. But upon entering details, closed back was snapped.

Up to 10 EU states (including so-called Visegrad Group and Baltics, according to sources consulted) objected to an instrument that clearly defied United States because it obliged to disobey its punishment. "When we have to decide on a matter facing Washington, many countries, in general closest to Russia, are urging brakes," explains a high-level European diplomatic service. Although shield against US sanctions will end up going forward (only a qualified majority of member countries can topple it), se discrepancies illustrate well difficulties of standing up to until recently American ally.

Iran is not only matter in which some European states want to appeasing with American administration, even under Trump's rule. The celebrations of anniversary of state of Israel, which at same time celebrated transfer of American Embassy of Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, divided Community club a few weeks ago. The EU had shown itself against this controversial move by embassies, which legitimized Israeli rights over disputed Jerusalem. Still, four ambassadors (from Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, and Austria) attended a part of celebrations. And Hungarian diplomacy in particular has curbed a joint statement by 28 member states to condemn Israeli repression in face of Palestinian protests in Gaza.

This country ensures that it does not disagree with EU's common position. It simply denies that Europe raises its voice every time United States does something that it dislikes in Brussels. Its politicians allege that position on two states "is well known" and that it is not necessary to reiterate it if it implies confronting with United States.

The arrival of new conflicting dossiers does not dilute old ones. The asylum policy, on which ministers of Interior will debate this Tuesday in Luxembourg, generates greatest tensions between eastern and western neighbours. Despite everything, debate has degenerated so much that today fronts are even greater. Because Eastern Bloc rejects compulsory reception of asylum seekers, but south (with Italy in lead, now with a government that announces a strong hand against migration), prescribe rules that hold EU's external frontiers accountable. Of registration and guardianship of new arrivals.

The paradox is that continuous pulse of some Eastern rulers with authorities in Brussels coexist with a high degree of citizenship satisfaction with respect to EU membership. "Polish and Hungarian citizens value an EU that allows m to work outside and provides m with funds for economic and social development. However, current governments of se countries reject policies that could have a strong impact on composition of society, ' reasons László Andor, Hungarian commissioner for Employment and now professor at Corvinus University in Budapest. The socialist politician alludes to rejection that shows his country to open doors to refugees with beliefs and physical features different from those of homogeneous Hungarian society.

"We have to decide how to govern EU of future. If we allow more nationalism and selfishness, that leads to a dangerous situation. When problems are complex, people tend to look for simple identities, "warns Jerzy Pomianowski of European Endowment for Democracy, an organization that promotes values of European democracy throughout world. This expert warns of where next line of East/West confrontation will come: for distribution of European budget. "These [Eastern] countries will not accept proposed cut in cohesion policies," he concludes.

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