European leaders must now take the refugee crisis in their own hands. The future of Europe is at stake, says Gianni Pittella
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella today called on all member states to live up to their responsibilities to respond to the refugee crisis. He said:
"2016 is starting on the same tragic tone as 2015. Europe is falling apart as a result of the narrow-minded selfishness of some national government and the illusion that restoring borders will solve the global challenge of migration. The decision of the Swedish and Danish authorities to reintroduce control at their borders - something that S&D Euro MPs regret - is the natural consequence of the complete failure to implement the mechanisms put in place by the European Commission and supported by the European Parliament. This mechanism has been openly boycotted by some national governments.
"Schengen is not only the greatest success of the story of European integration, but the purest symbol of a united Europe. Once this symbol is destroyed, the whole of Europe is at risk of collapse. In the meantime, refugees, women and children continue to die between Turkey and Greece and populists across Europe are gaining more support surfing on the wave of fear. European political leaders must now take this crucial issue in their own hands. The future of Europe is at stake."