Merkel slams EU’s Tusk over refugee quotas

Merkel slams EU’s Tusk over refugee quotas
# 14 December 2017 17:32 (UTC +04:00)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has criticized European Council’s President Donald Tusk over his opposition to mandatory refugee quotas, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday ahead of EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, Merkel stressed that a stronger solidarity was needed among the EU member states to address the refugee crisis.

“In my opinion, there cannot be a selective solidarity among the EU member states,” she stressed, in an indirect criticism of Tusk, who argued earlier this week that mandatory quotas has been “divisive” and turned out to be “ineffective."

Merkel said a policy draft on migration prepared by Tusk and distributed to the leaders ahead of the summit was not sufficient enough.

The German Chancellor underlined that addressing the refugee crisis would not be possible only by taking measures on the EU’s external borders.

“We also need solidarity inside the European Union,” she said, referring to the difficult situation of Italy and Greece, which have been the main entry points to the EU for most of the refugees and migrants.

The governments of Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary continue to oppose relocating refugees from Italy and Greece, despite an agreement reached by the EU Council in 2015.

European Council President Donald Tusk has called for an open and frank discussion on migration, in his invitation letter to the EU leaders for a two-day summit in Brussels.

In a two-page note attached to his letter, Tusk argued for stronger efforts to fight people who are involved smuggling and human trafficking.

"The issue of mandatory quotas has proven to be highly divisive and the approach has received disproportionate attention in light of its impact on the ground; in this sense it has turned out to be ineffective,” he said.