Public Affairs Networking
Juncker calls for legal immigration – News Digest

All EU member states except Romania report that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the European Parliament yesterday about the European Council’s decisions regarding the migration issue. He expressed disappointment with the outcome of last week’s EU summit in Brussels and urged EU nations to increase legal immigration in a bid to avoid more migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.

Several media quote him telling MEPs: “We must work on legal immigration. If we close the doors, migrants will break in through the windows.” The Bulgarian National Radio reports that Mr Juncker won the support of the European parliament when he called for a quota for distributing asylum seekers across all 28 EU countries. According to the Guardian, this idea came from German Chancellor Angela Merkel as “Germany and Sweden deal with almost half – 45% – of all asylum claims in the EU.”

The Times writes that MEPs from all five political groups in the European Parliament yesterday voted to set a “binding quota” for the distribution of asylum seekers among EU countries. The proposal will be submitted on 13 May, Phileleftheros writes. Most media report that European Council President Donald Tusk defended the measures that were adopted during the extraordinary European Council on 23 April, and noted that the EU will triple the capitals and increase the operational ability of the “Triton” operation.

In an interview with Rai News 24, European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans stated that Europe must implement radical measures and all member states must cooperate and voluntarily take in asylum-seekers. Media also report that Jean-Claude Juncker conceded yesterday that ending Mare Nostrum was a serious mistake.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Rai Uno, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, EC Vice-President Federica Mogherini, said that Europe is working on an international policing operation in the Mediterranean and plans to “work more” with Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to prevent migrant-smuggling and human trafficking.

Several media comment on Jean-Claude Juncker’s speech. In RBB3, Andreas Meyer-Feist claims that Jean-Claude Juncker addressed the divided parliament in a “surprising speech,” in which he “harshly criticised” the EU member states for “talking too much” whilst showing “not enough willingness to receive refugees.” L’Echo quotes MEP Sophie in’t Veld stating: “Juncker showed leadership. I hope the Council of the EU will do the same.” In an interview in Avvenire, the Italian MEP Lara Comi welcomes the EP’s resolution and Mr Juncker’s position, adding that they finally recognised that Italy had been “left by itself” to deal with the immigration problem.

Some media comment on Juncker’s decision to distribute asylum seekers among EU countries. Vecer writes that a greater participation of the Member States will be difficult to achieve. The Daily Telegraph illustrates this point, reporting that UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said this could lead to terrorists “being given the right to settle in Britain.” Belgium, nevertheless, already announced it will accommodate 250 Syrian refugees, who will be placed in refugee centres, Vivacité reports.

The Cypriot press and the Irish Times also reveal that earlier, speaking before the EP Plenary, European Council President Donald Tusk predicted that this will be a difficult summer regarding migrant flows in Europe, and underlined the need to track refugee smugglers in order to destroy their boats before they even set off. ©europeanunion2015

No comments yet
Submit a comment

Policy and networking for the digital age
Policy Review TV Neil Stewart Associates
© Policy Review | Policy and networking for the digital age 2024 | Log-in | Proudly powered by WordPress
Policy Review EU is part of the NSA & Policy Review Publishing Network