Pittella: Europe cannot be à la carte – national solutions to refugee crisis are doomed to fail
Ahead of a meeting of national justice and home affairs ministers in Brussels today, S&D Group MEPs blasted the unilateral approach taken by national governments in the last few days and called for ministers to finally implement the proposals put forward by the Commission last year.
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"Yesterday's proposals from Budapest and Vienna are dangerous and counterproductive and will do nothing to help solve this crisis. Viktor Orbán is again attempting to whip up anti-EU and anti-migrant sentiment for political purposes rather than putting forward practical solutions. Meanwhile the meeting in Vienna, which pointedly excluded figures from Greece and the EU institutions, creates far more problems than it solves. National solutions are doomed to fail - we need a comprehensive European response.
"Europe must be based on solidarity, not only when it comes to financial benefits but also for political responsibilities; when you have been asked to comply with the decisions voted and decided by the Council you must do so. Europe cannot be a 'menu a la carte' where you pick only the parts that benefit you and ignore the rest."
S&D spokesperson for justice and home affairs, Birgit Sippel, said:
"Each member state taking different and contradictory approaches to tackling the refugee crisis worsens the situation and damages Europe's standing in the world. We are talking about the movement of millions of people. As a continent, acting in a coordinated way, that is something we can handle. Working as individual countries it is not. We therefore urge national ministers today to finally wake up and see that the only sustainable solution to this crisis is one reached at the European level. The Commission has put forward proposals that would allow us to get on top of this situation - ministers must now implement them."