The issue of migration is to be the key topic of the second day of the EU summit in Brussels. EU leaders spoke on this issue before the start of formal meetings. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said that the European Union must strengthen its eastern border as soon as possible in order to defend itself against the actions of Belarus. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, emphasized that migrants cannot be deprived of their basic rights. The Belgian prime minister emphasized, in turn, that “solidarity must work both ways”.
The summit of the European Council began in Brussels on Thursday. The talks between the heads of state and government of the EU countries will last until Friday afternoon. Among the main topics of the meeting is the issue of migration.
Luxembourg Prime Minister: measures must be compatible with human rights
Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said Friday at a press conference ahead of the summit’s second day that the European Union must find the right balance to deal with the actions of the Belarusian authorities exerting migratory pressure on the EU’s eastern border. At the same time, he added that people trying to cross the border should not be deprived of their basic rights.
– These people are not treated properly, also by different European countries. I am convinced that there is room for improvement here, said Bettel at a press conference in Brussels. – Any measures we take must respect human rights. We cannot simply deprive people of their most basic rights, such as the right to asylum, he emphasized. He stressed that “orderly migration” must remain possible. “We have to find a balance,” added the head of the Luxembourg government.
President of Lithuania: we must act decisively
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Friday that the European Union must revise its asylum laws and strengthen its eastern border as soon as possible to defend itself against Belarus’s actions. As he said, Minsk “uses migration as a weapon”.
“We should also talk about the border fence, which is very much needed as an emergency measure,” Nauseda told reporters in Brussels. – Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. Maybe three, four, five thousand migrants will appear at the border at the same time, trying to cross the border in different sections. We must act decisively, argued the President of Lithuania.
Belgian Prime Minister: Solidarity must work both ways
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated that all EU countries must act in solidarity in order to be able to cope with increasing migratory pressure and to help those who need it.
– Solidarity should go both ways. The message to the southern countries is clear – protect your borders and we will show solidarity with the funds to better protect external borders, said De Croo after arriving on the second day of the EU summit. – But solidarity must also go the other way, because it cannot be that several countries are making every effort to accept people who need help. For this to work at the European level, everyone should show solidarity, he added.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JOHANNA GERON / POOL