The Malta Independent 22 June 2021, Tuesday

Migration: EU Leaders to meet in Brussels tomorrow at emergency EU Council Summit

Kevin Schembri Orland from Brussels Tuesday, 22 September 2015, 11:29 Last update: about 7 years ago

An emergency summit called by EU Council President Donald Tusk for EU Heads of State has been called and will begin tomorrow.

Heads of State are expected to discuss an overall approach to the refugee crisis and the necessity to establish a credible European migration policy.

In his letter to the EU state leaders, President Tusk said - “The crisis we are all witnessing is a test of our humanity and responsibility. It causes many tensions and accusations among politicians and people in Europe. I have no illusions that Europe will need to deal with this challenge for many years to come. Therefore I would like us to focus on the overall approach to this crisis”.

He added that Europe is currently not able to manage its common external borders. “The protection of the European community is our first duty and obligation and we have failed on this front. For too long our discussions have centred around shifting the responsibility onto others. There is a long list of issues where we could blame one another but it will not help us in finding a common solution. Today we must absolutely work out policies that we can implement in order to help each other. That is why I will ask all of us to honestly discuss what the EU can do to help its Member States in solving this problem. We will also need to discuss our responsibilities at a national level. No one should shy away from them because then we will be unable to build our joint European response based on unity and solidarity. Shifting the responsibility and putting the blame on one another must definitely come to an end”.

Besides discussing our overall approach to the crisis he also wants to address issues such as help to the front-line Member States, cooperation with the Western Balkan countries, with Turkey and the countries bordering Syria, budgetary assistance to the High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme and the implementation of conclusions on return and readmission”.

One issue which cannot wait, he said, was the World Food Programme, which needs funds to provide food for 11 million people in Syria and the region.

“The WFP has already cut substantially food support to refugees. I would like to appeal to all of you not to wait until our meeting and provide donations to the World Food Programme, in coordination with the ECHO”.

Recently however, tensions between Croatia and Hungary have risen, with Croatia allegedly choosing to bus thousands of migrants to the Hungarian border, creating tension between the two member states. Hungary went as far as accusing Croatia of breaking international law by not registering migrants This, along with the Dublin treaty, could very well pop up during talks regarding a credible migration policy.

Heads of State will begin to arrive tomorrow at 5pm.


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