EU States Should Band in ‘Smaller Groups’ on Migrant Issue, Troubled Merkel Says
EU member states should tackle the migrant issue in “smaller groups”, the leaders of Germany and France, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, have suggested as the Union is failing to come up with a common solution.
Merkel, Macron, and 14 other EU leaders have met in Brussels for informal talks in an attempt to reconcile the differences over migration policies among the EU member states, reports DW.
The mini-summit has come against the backdrop of a crackdown on NGO migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean as well as a growing rift over the migrant in the German government between Merkel’s ruling party, the CDU, and its sister party from Bavaria, the CSU.
The 16 out of the total of 28 EU member states whose leaders attended the summit were Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Croatia, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden and Luxembourg.
The Visegrad Four – Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia – whose governments are known for their strongly pronounced anti-migrant stances – have failed to attend.
“The European Council will not yet provide an overall solution to the migration problem. That is why it is also about bilateral or trilateral agreements for mutual benefit,” Merkel has said, thus admitted to the failure to secure a migrant issue consensus among the EU member states ahead of a formal leaders’ summit next Thursday.
“Wherever possible we want European solutions. Where this is not possible we want bring those who are willing together and find a common framework for action,” Merkel has said.
Merkel’s ally, French President Emmanuel Macron has also voiced support for EU members acting in “smaller groups”.
The German Chancellor has told reporters after the meeting that it has created “a lot of goodwill” but appears to be seeking to keep down the expectations for the leaders’ summit.
“We cannot leave the countries of entry alone, as that would mean that they have to solve all the problems on their own,” she has stated, declaring that all EU leaders present had agreed “all countries should share all the burdens” related to migration.
As per a de facto ultimatum by Horst Seehofer, Germany’s Interior Minister and leader of the CSU, if Merkel fails to secure an EU-wide solution, he is going to impose single-handedly stricter rules with respect to migrants who have been refused asylum in Germany or any other EU country.
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