Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
The EU summit meeting on migration was very difficult, and it appears that not all member-states share the same values and principles, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in Brussels on Friday.
At a press conference he gave following the meeting, Tsipras said that it appeard that “what we knew as founding principles and values of the EU – solidarity, humanism, respect for human rights and international law – is not common ground for all 28 members,” he said.
The European Union, he pointed out, “is deeply torn between two viewpoints – an extremely conservative, chauvinist/anti-migrant one and a democratic humanitarian one.”
A danger of postponing indefinitely the prospect of reviewing the Dublin treaty on migration towards a more just direction was averted, he said; the attempt was to postpone the review until it was entirely cancelled following the Euroelections of 2019.
The prime ministers of Greece, Alexis Tsipras, Spain, Pedro Sanchez, and German chancellor Angela Merkel, met in Brussels on Friday on the sidelines of an EU summit and reached an agreement on handling the migrant and refugee’s crisis.
As highlighted in the agreement, “Greece and Spain are ready to readmit asylum seekers identified in the future at the German-Austria border by German authorities, who have a Eurodac entry from the aforementioned countries. Germany will gradually accept and conclude the family reunification cases in Greece and Spain with a view to guaranteeing family unity.”
The full political agreement is as follows:
“Germany, Greece and Spain underline their support for concluding the revision of the Common European Asylum System in 2018, with the aim of striking the right balance between a fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity.
Until entry into force of the new Common European Asylum System, interim measures established by those member states willing to move ahead collectively on a European level, are the best way to proceed.
On this basis, in response to possible crises, we support adopting additional immediate operational EU initiatives, based on solidarity, including through burden sharing.
We underline that member states at the external border need more joint support, financially and regarding police and asylum officers. Positive actions will be taken swiftly, in support of the five Aegean islands in Greece and in support of Spain.
Greece and Spain are ready to readmit asylum seekers identified in the future at the German-Austria border by German authorities, who have a Eurodac entry from the aforementioned countries. Germany will gradually accept and conclude the family reunification cases in Greece and Spain with a view to guaranteeing family unity.
The operational details of the aforementioned actions will be agreed upon within the next four weeks and reviewed regularly. Cooperation will start immediately once this agreement is reached.
Merkel secures deal with
14 EU nations on migrants
According to the German press agency DPA, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has secured agreements with 14 European Union countries to rapidly return some asylum seekers as she seeks to end a schism in her government over migration policy. Merkel is also aiming to establish “anchor centers” to process migrants at Germany’s borders.
The announcements came in a letter Merkel wrote to leaders of her Christian Democratic Union’s Bavaria-only sister party, the Christian Social Union, as well as to her junior coalition government partner, the Social Democrats, after she attended a two-day EU summit in Brussels.
Merkel is seeking to end a three-week standoff with her hard-line Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who heads the CSU.
Seehofer, whose party faces a state election in the fall, has been threatening to turn away migrants at Germany’s border who have already been rejected by the country or who have registered for asylum elsewhere in the EU.
Merkel has rejected that approach, instead insisting on a European-wide solution to migration issues to preserve EU unity. The dispute has raised the possibility of an end to Germany’s decades-old conservative alliance between the CSU and Merkel’s CDU if Seehofer goes ahead with the unilateral move, which could bring down her government.
Both the CDU and the CSU are holding separate meetings Sunday to discuss Merkel’s latest efforts on migration and plot their next steps.
In the eight-page letter obtained Saturday by dpa, the chancellor said that she had also secured agreement with half of the EU nations to return migrants to them if they’d first registered in those countries.
The countries included Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, which have all been harsh critics of Merkel’s welcoming stance to migrants, as well as Belgium, France, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden.