An easy way of publishing your relevant EU press releases.

Summit should try to find a common way forward


16 Dec 2015


Global Europe

Responding to the Council and Commission statements on the preparation of this week's European Council in the European Parliament this morning, GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer stressed the need for the European Union to try to pursue a common way forward at this meeting.

On the issue of a common European border system, Ms Zimmer said: "If member states are asked to give up their rights to sovereignty to form a European common border agency, which can act against their interests, and if that is backed up with a threat that those who don't agree will lose their rights to the Schengen area, I don't think that it will contribute to trust between member states."

Ms Zimmer also evoked the unkept promises made during previous summits: "Promises made in past summits should be kept: if you want hotspots to work as in the case of Greece, then you have to make adequate manpower available for them. I'm thinking also of the pledges made for the relocation of refugees. Only 34 people have been relocated from Greece to Luxembourg so far. We cannot say that Greece has to strictly fulfil austerity measures and then leave Greece in the lurch when there is a major immigration crisis."

On the agreement made with Turkey on the refugee situation, Ms Zimmer asked: "Talking about honesty, I saw MEPs of parties in Government applauding in the plenary when it was said that Turkey does not have any chance to access the EU. That is hypocrisy. We make agreements which are meant to resolve the refugee crisis while turning a blind eye to what Turkey is doing internally with regards to journalists or repression in the Kurdish areas. We accept that Turkey leaves refugees the decision between being detained in centres or going back to Syria. How can we honestly stand here, opening up the next accession chapter and say that there is no future for Turkey in the EU?"

Gabi Zimmer concluded: "Are we being honest or are we just trying to push through our interests or the interests of the big countries? What does all this have to do with our values and what does it have to do with our vision of a just Europe and a fair European Union. That is not the European Union that I would like to see."

For Javier Couso, the solutions put forward by the EU Council to the refugee crisis are moving in the wrong direction. "People talk about a migrant crisis; it's a refugee crisis, the most significant one since World War II. It won't be solved by building walls to protect us or by having a super police force that is above and beyond a national police force. It won't be resolved by supporting supposed allies such as Turkey who are engaged in oil trading with Daesh or by invading Iraq under a NATO umbrella."

He continued: "Terrorism cannot be combatted by eliminating our freedoms in the EU with asymmetrical proposals, military solutions and states of emergency. We also need to ensure that the rule of law and the international legal framework is protected."

Tania González Peñas agreed with President Juncker that change was needed "though we may not agree on what kind of change. We need a change in the European model; we need a social model with the founding values of democracy, welfare and social rights. We need a change in foreign policy to be based on democracy, human rights and development. It is our responsibility to design a policy to welcome refugees who are fleeing war and terror. But the solution to the refugee crisis and terrorism is something that will require stability, peace and democracy throughout the Middle East."

"If we want to combat Euro-scepticism and cynicism about the European project, we cannot continue to see the EU as being a synonym for mass unemployment and austerity. We need to strengthen our social policy, make the European Central Bank more democratic, and create jobs in the green economy, new technology, the care sector and in public services through a massive public investment programme."


GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

Nikki Sullings + 32 483 03 55 75

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group



Cruise Lines International Association
Policy Officer
European Institute of Peace
Research Consultants
International Association for Democracy (IAD)
Lobbying Officer (voluntary)
European Food Banks Federation
Head of ​Fundraising and Partnerships​​
European Affairs Consulting Group (Eacon)
EU Public Affairs Trainee
International Commission of Jurists - European Institutions
Programme Manager
Terre des Hommes International Federation
Child and Youth Participation Advisor (Environment & Climate)
KIOS Foundation
Team leader