The European People’s Party (EPP) leaders met today in Brussels ahead of the European Council. The EPP Summit welcomed, among others, SDS President Janez Janša, who was congratulated for his electoral win in Slovenia.
Migration was the focus of the EPP Summit. In the margins of the meeting, the EPP President Joseph Daul, stated:
“Migration is a European challenge calling for a European answer. The number of migrants entering the European Union has dropped significantly following the closure of the Balkan route and the EU-Turkey agreement, which should be prolonged. The EPP has been at the forefront of major steps to tackle migration: establishment of a European Border and Coastguard to screen every person arriving at our borders, better data exchange between Member States and the strengthening of Frontex.
But more needs to be done to prevent people from dying at sea and to reinforce EU’s external borders. Lasting solutions implies addressing the root causes of migration and helping people in their regions of origin and transit countries. We support an Africa Investment Plan for an integrated approach, ranging from the economy to trade, from security to migration to combat poverty, to provide safety and offer opportunities to the people.
The choice of who enters the European Union should not be left to smugglers and rescue at sea does not equal access to the EU. This is why we support the idea the idea of disembarkation platforms outside the EU and call for the increase of the number of European border guards.”
The EPP leaders also discussed about the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).
“We have managed to overcome the economic and financial crisis but we should not lose momentum and continue to push for reforms. At this point, it is imperative to put in place a roadmap for a European deposit insurance scheme, give a clear mandate to complete the Banking Union and have a strong commitment to reforming the European Stability Mechanism as well as enlarging its scope. Making our economies more resilient remains a priority for the EPP and we understand that it is a process in the making but we should not rest on our laurels and act upon it,” declared EPP President Daul.
The EPP leaders also congratulated PM Boiko Borrisov for a successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which brought the Western Balkans further on the path to EU membership and expressed their support to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz ahead of the start of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.