The European Council commences today with its topic of discussion being the EU voluntary solidarity mechanism and asylum policy. The heads of state or government of the European Union countries gathered to find solutions to the migration crisis as it is currently happening in Europe.
Apart from a round of introduction (involving delegates guessing the picture of their represented President), no major steps have yet been taken in the debate. The opening speeches have seen most delegates committing themselves to find solutions to the crisis, ensuring that the values of compassion and solidarity are firmly upheld. The Mediterranean countries have highlighted the burden that they are currently facing with the unfair distribution of immigrants and have advocated for a more just sharing mechanism. However, Poland has called out against illegal migrants to ensure the security of their own citizens while Sweden has encouraged deeper integration for current migrants already hosted by European states.
As noted by the delegate of Bulgaria: “drop by drop, fill a pot” (actually a quote from the Buddha). This reminds that small and wise actions and policies can, at the end of the day, be essential to find long lasting solutions. This is what the European Council is hoping to achieve in these negotiations. We expect a lot more discussions and disparities in the upcoming sessions. Being a unanimity based committee, agreement by all delegates will be necessary to pass a conclusion. Whether division or common ground will be reached is yet to be found.
- Marta De Grandi- EurACTIV correspondent