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Informal summit in Bratislava

European leaders must show they are willing and able to work together


Speaking ahead of today’s informal summit of EU heads of state and government in Bratislava, Slovakia, Rebecca Harms, co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, said:

“The disputes of recent months have undermined citizens’ trust in the European Union and the European Council has to prove to citizens that they are willing and able to act together.

We have to overcome the impasse in the refugee crisis and take more refugees into the EU while at the same time supporting countries outside the EU. This international solidarity will be more achievable if there is greater solidarity within the EU.

We have to respond effectively to citizens’ feelings of abandonment in the face of globalisation. A common approach to the management of external borders has to be adopted urgently. Only this way can we defend freedom of travel inside the EU and secure human rights standards at our borders.

Council should show they take citizens’ genuine concerns about security seriously and are willing to better cooperate against terrorism and international crime while still protecting people´s fundamental rights.

We very much welcome the intention to strengthen military cooperation if the European Union makes a substantial contribution to international peacekeeping efforts. We only support the idea of Jean-Claude Juncker to establish a European Fund for Defence under the condition that it means pooling of national resources."

Green migration spokesperson Judith Sargentini added:

“It is vital that the European Union takes a collective approach to tackling radicalisation and terrorism. We need to ensure better police and justice cooperation across the EU. For that, we need better equipped staff and more finances. If our police are to be able to follow genuine threats, they need to be adequately resourced but this must be matched with greater parliamentary scrutiny, legal clarity and safeguards. We should not overlook the fact that we are dealing with home grown extremists, so simply fencing off the European Union will not improve our security.

What we do not need is massive and expensive data collection, and out of hand mass surveillance: 15 years after 9/11, the effectiveness of massive data collection remains deeply controversial.”