Merkel wants a European solution to refugee crisis

Merkel supports the UK's demands for the EU

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has called for European unity and cooperation to deal with the refugee crisis before the upcoming EU summit.

 Berlin - Merkel told the German parliament on Wednesday: "Our common goal is to reduce the number of refugees in a sustained and significant fashion so as to continue helping the people who need our protection". In order to achieve this it would be necessary to work together with Turkey.

The Chancellor expressed herself in a government explanation on the upcoming EU summit in Brussels. The focus of the summit will be on the refugee crisis, the summit will start on Thursday. The summit will see all the heads of state and governmental representatives of all EU member states come together for the meeting. Merkel wants to ensure a united policy of all EU member states and also wants to see a fair distribution of refugees to all countries but she has faced resistance on this issue.

The summit in Brussels will not adress the issues of quotas for the admission of refugees according to Merkel. The EU makes itself look "silly" when they discuss quotas when the already agreed on distribution of a 160,000 refugees to EU member states has not worked "in the slightest way".

Merkel said the EU summit will concentrate on the question whether the European-Turkish approach on fighting the causes of people fleeing as refugees and protecting the borders of the EU has proceeded so far so as to ask the question "if it makes sense to continue this approach". This is the requirement to ensure the curbing of illegal migartion and the agreement on European quotas.

Merkel asked the question whether the EU will have to give up this approach and despite the consequences close the border between Greece and Macedonia and she added that she would ensure "with all her strength that the European-Turkish approach is continued as it is the way forward".

In addition the summit will address the issue of the UK's demands for reforms within the EU which should ensure that the UK does not leave the EU.

In her speech Merkel stood by and supported some of the reforms UK prime minister David Cameron proposed and also stressed her request that the UK should remain a member of the EU. Camerons demands such as an increase in competitiveness within the EU do not only "represent Britains interests". In many of his points Cameron's requests are "justified and understandable". 

Merkel said points such as "the request to remove bad incentives in welfare systems" is justifiable. Every EU member state should have the right to protect it's welfare system from abuse. However the German government stressed the importance of not questioning the "basic achievements" of the EU when trying to change the system.

The chancellor highlighted that these "achievements" included "freedom of movement and non-discrimination". "These two principles are not to be changed or questioned."

(xity, AFP)

  • Angela Merkel
  • EU
  • UK
  • refugee crisis