UN Migrant Pact Boycott: Europe Divided Over the Non-Binding Global Deal

Written by | Friday, December 7th, 2018

Slovakia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided to remain in office after receiving guarantees from Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) and Smer-SD chair Robert Fico concerning Slovakia’s foreign policy. Long-serving Slovak career diplomat Miroslav Lajcak resigned earlier this week after the Slovak Parliament had refused to adopt the Global Compact for Migration – the document Mr. Lajcak had helped to draft as president of the United Nations General Assembly in 2017. Slovak President Andrej Kiska, who is supportive of the global deal, called for “time to think” following the unexpected move.


Mr. Lajcak was supposed to chair the upcoming presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that Slovakia will take starting on 1 January. Mr Pellegrini said Mr. Lajcak was a world-class diplomat and he was needed for Slovakia’s OSCE presidency. Earlier this year, the Slovak Parliament decided that not only Slovakia would not ratify the migration deal but it would not send a Slovak representative to attend the conference in Marrakesh – the decision that the Slovak Prime Minister confirmed.  Slovak Prime Minister commented that his government would “never” accept the agreement because of its positioning of migration as a generally positive phenomenon, which is against Slovakia’s will to distinguish among the migrants.


The dispute over the pact started about a month ago when centre-stage debate was taken over by Slovak National Party (SNS) – a party whose leaders look up to populists such as Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Viktor Orban. After Austria and Hungary had announced that they will not support the pact and attend the conference in Marrakech, Mr. Lajcak expressed full support for the document. However, the two biggest parties – the ruling SMER and the opposition Freedom and Solidarity – were against the pact, which ultimately led to its rejection in the Parliament.

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