European Council, divided leaders but the conclusions reject the funds for external barriers –

European Council, divided leaders but the conclusions reject the funds for external barriers –
European Council, divided leaders but the conclusions reject the funds for external barriers –
from Francesca Basso

Divisions dictated by different national interests have emerged, but the conclusions have more or less satisfied everyone

from our correspondent
BRUSSELS – EU leaders have decided to see the glass half full for the European Council, during which decisions have actually been moved to the next few months. Certainly the discussions have been constructive as they say in these circumstances and it has come to some conclusions in which all the chancelleries have achieved something but progress on the dossiers, from energy to the case of Poland, passing through migration, there have been no.

Divisions dictated by different national interests emerged, starting with the solutions to be adopted to cope with rising energy prices. Postpone to the extraordinary council of energy ministers next Tuesday and then to the European Council in December. A point on this issue, however, was marked because Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged that the EU needs nuclear power which is a “stable” source and gas which is the source of the energy transition, opening to their entry into the green taxonomy. The delegated acts on nuclear and gas will arrive “by the end of the year”.

But it is on immigration that divisions between the Member States have once again emerged, despite the attempt by the President of the European Council Charles Michel to focus the discussion on the external dimension of the phenomenon, which is more easily found by the countries in agreement. The internal dimension was touched upon by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who raised the problem of secondary movements (migrants entering one EU member state and moving to another). But the problem also affects Germany, Belgium, France and Austria.

The conclusions have more or less satisfied everyone, although then President von der Leyen thought to clear the field of doubts, explaining that “we talked about physical infrastructures but I answered clearly that there is an agreement between the Commission and the EU Parliament to do not finance barbed wire or walls», As requested by 13 countries (including the Baltics, Poland, Austria, Greece, Hungary). A position also shared by other countries such as Germany, France, Holland and Italy.

However, the conclusions recognized that “the European Council will not accept any attempt by third countries to exploit migrants for political ends. It condemns all hybrid attacks on the EU borders and will respond accordingly “. The reference is to what is happening with Belarus which uses migrants – pushing them to the border with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania – to destabilize the EU, but also to Turkey.

The Council accepts the request from the countries of Eastern and Central Europe but only in part because if “the Commission is invited to propose the necessary changes to the EU legal framework and concrete measures supported by adequate financial support to ensure an immediate and adequate response”, it is also added that it must be “in line with EU law and international obligations, including fundamental rights “.

And on secondary movements, while on the one hand the need to support “efforts” to reduce them is reaffirmed, it is also asked to “ensure a fair balance between responsibility and solidarity between the Member States”, crucial step for Italy. President von der Leyen once again urged member states to make progress in the negotiations on the new Pact for Migration, which has stalled.

October 22, 2021 (change October 22, 2021 | 23:33)


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