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EU at the UN

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Summary: 25 June 2015, Brussels – Remarks by President Donald Tusk ahead of the European Council meeting

I have no doubt that it will take much time to build new European consensus on migration. But first and foremost, we need to contain illegal migration and this should be our priority. Today I expect the EC to send a strong message. All those who are not legitimate asylum-seekers will have no guarantee that they will stay in Europe. Only with this message can we make real progress on relocation from Italy and Greece.

Today we have no consensus among Member States on mandatory quotas for migrants. But at the same time the voluntary scheme cannot be an excuse to do nothing. I can understand those who want this voluntary mechanism, but they will only be credible if they give precise and significant pledges by the end of July at the latest, because solidarity without sacrifice is pure hypocrisy. Now we don’t need empty declarations on solidarity, only deeds and numbers.

Second, on UK. Our British colleague Prime Minister Cameron will share with us his referendum plans. There are some British concerns we should consider, but only in a way which will be safe for all Europe. Today we will only start this process. However one thing should be clear from the very beginning: the fundamental values of the European Union are not for sale and so are non-negotiable.

Last but not least, Greece. For now, I can only say, that work is underway and for sure it will need still many hours. The last hours have been critical but I have a good hunch that unlike in Sophocles’ tragedies this Greek story will have a happy end.

  • Ref: CL15-097EN
  • EU source: Council
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 25/6/2015

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