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Merkel-Hollande debate

Internal stability of the EU a prerequisite for solving other crises

Commenting in the context of the European Parliament debate with French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel, Greens/EFA president Rebecca Harms said:

"Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande have stumbled from one crisis to the next without properly solving the underlying problems and this makes it hard to have confidence in their ability to act. Re-establishing stability within the EU, and through that the confidence of EU citizens, will only be possible if the lessons of the Euro crisis are learned. Our common currency will not restabilise until we have a true common economic and fiscal policy and President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel are best placed to push for this. France needs to overcome its hang-ups with sovereignty and Germany must overcome its unhealthy fixation with debt. Only when we have achieved this internal stability will the EU be in a position to properly solve the other crises we are confronted with.

"Chancellor Merkel was right to focus on our common European values and recognise the need to properly overhaul the dysfunctional Dublin system of asylum rules. All EU member states, and not just Germany, must assume their responsibility for those who have come to Europe seeking asylum. It is welcome that both Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande have acknowledged we need a new asylum system. The humanitarian approach that led the Chancellor to open Germany's borders to refugees must also apply to the approach to Europe's external borders however. While it is clear that a responsible approach to border control is necessary, the fight against trafficking cannot be an excuse to militarise border policies in Europe. The cooperation with Turkish President Erdogan to improve the situation for refugees in Turkey cannot lead the EU to turn a blind eye to the escalation in Turkey against the Kurdish community, the media and opposition politicians."