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    EU Approves Migration Pact: Accept Migrants or Pay Hefty Fines

    The European Union has officially approved a controversial migration pact that mandates member countries to either accept a quota of migrants or pay substantial fines. The pact, which had already been passed by the European Parliament, was greenlit today by the Council of the European Union, with only Poland and Hungary voting against it, occasionally joined by Slovakia and Austria.

    The approved package includes ten legislative texts, with the European Parliament giving its nod on April 9th. Tuesday’s vote by finance and economy ministers in Brussels marks the end of the legislative process, though most regulations will not take effect until 2026.

    At the heart of the controversy is the so-called voluntary solidarity mechanism, which requires the annual relocation of at least 30,000 individuals. Member states can alternatively pay €20,000 for each unaccepted person or participate in operations at the EU’s external borders.

    The previous Polish government opposed the migration pact, a stance criticized by Donald Tusk at the time. With the pact’s approval seemingly inevitable, the current Polish government has also expressed its opposition, voting against it.

    “We believe it does not take into account the specificities of countries bordering Belarus, nations that face increasing pressure from so-called hybrid warfare. The migration pact’s provisions do not appropriately balance responsibility and solidarity,” said Polish Finance Minister Andrzej Domański. He also blamed the previous ruling party, PiS, for “botching the negotiations.”

    However, the Polish government’s veto was ultimately irrelevant, as the decision was made by a qualified majority. The government had the option to remove the topic from the agenda but chose not to exercise this option.

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