This week’s meeting of European leaders once again failed to deliver solutions to the challenges Europe is facing today. “The Meseberg declaration reviving the Franco-German engine gave a sense of hope: yet nothing nurtured this hope at this week’s European Council meeting with insufficient steps on migration and a complete failure of EU leaders to make progress on Eurozone issues”, comments Christopher Glück, President of JEF Europe.
“It is a disappointing that the security narrative of the migration discussion entirely dominated the agenda. Not only has the tone of the debate contributed to the dehumanisation of people in need - The leader’s approach is shifting far away from the values on which the EU is based. While the Council finally secured some agreement and we welcome that all asylum requests are to be processed on European soil, this is by no means enough for Europe to live up to is responsibility”, analyses Glück. The establishment of more control centres should be underpinned by an agreement on common standards and procedures to guarantee that control centres improve the humanitarian conditions for refugees instead of becoming mere detention camps. For this, a common European financing and administration of control centres must be established. In the long run, voluntary control centers alone will not be enough. Common European standards for assistance and integration services across the Union, financed on the European level, are required to create a situation in which allocation mechanisms in a renewed Dublin regulation become possible. JEF Europe criticises the decision to give more money for migration management to Turkey, a country which has not ratified the Geneva convention and has a problematic human rights record.
The June leaders summit was long anticipated as the date when finally European leaders would agree on a way forward for the Eurozone agenda. Last week’s timely Franco-German proposal, the Meseberg declaration, was further raising hopes that Europe would finally take decisive steps to fix the Eurozone’s problems. Apart from an in-principle agreement that the ESM should act as a backstop for the Banking Union - however without any agreement on the size and mechanism of the backstop - the Euro summit remained entirely inconclusive with all decisions postponed to December: “This inability of European leader’s to carry forward the discussion and reach at least minimal conclusions is posing the greatest danger to Europe’s economic stability to date. The Council fails to recognise that the window of opportunity for necessary reform is already closing. Some Member States, including Germany and the so called Hanseatic league, continue to ignore the urgency of reforming the EU because, at least for the moment, everything goes well for them. But they would be the first losers of an unravelling of the EU”, comments Glück.
“European citizens are waiting for European answers. If Member States continue to obstruct all European progress, more voters will turn to populist alternatives and more government offices will fall into the hands of the populists. The Member States need to wake up. This week’s Council meeting shows that it will be increasingly difficult to reach solutions if we do not act now. Europeans, tired of vague promises by their governments, gathered yesterday on the streets of Brussels to demonstrate in front of the European Council and to call the leaders to finally wake up and implement the reforms needed to safe the Union from stagnation’’, adds Christopher Glück.
The Heads of States and Governments gathered yesterday and today in Brussels for the European Council to discuss pressing issues of migration and external relations. The Young European Federalist together with the Union of European Federalists and other partners from civil society and political parties gathered in front of the European Council to demonstrate against the inactiveness of European leaders and called them to #wakEUp and Revive Europe!
More information about JEF Europe
The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with over 13.000 members active in more than 35 countries. Founded in 1972, the organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy, subsidiarity and rule of law. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life.
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