Internal squabbling prolonged as EU rights and freedoms under threat
Commenting on the outcome of today's meeting of EU home affairs ministers on the refugee crisis, Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts said:
"It is disheartening that, despite the ever more dramatic humanitarian crisis on the EU's southern borders, EU governments could only agree to prolong their internal squabbling until next month. Today's meeting has only yielded agreement on basic elements of the proposal on the redistribution of asylum seekers across the EU. It is shameful that despite the dramatic nature of the humanitarian emergency, many EU governments are still turning their backs on their European partners and refusing to accept their responsibility. Not only is there still a blockage over making the emergency scheme for relocating asylum seekers binding, there is also major opposition from EU governments to the creation of a permanent mechanism for ensuring a fair distribution of refugees in emergency situations.
"Europe's crisis of solidarity is leading governments to scale back EU rights and freedoms, as we are seeing with the domino effect of reintroduced border controls. This is deeply worrying. Despite the urgency of the situation, we will now have to wait 4 more weeks before home affairs ministers again consider the long-overdue and urgently needed EU-level solution to the refugee crisis. In the interim, the EU Commission and Parliament must continue to pressure EU governments. It is also essential that the coalition of willing governments push ahead, as proposed by German chancellor Merkel and French president Hollande. Across the continent, EU citizens have shown they want to welcome asylum seekers. It is high time the politics caught up with its public."