Berlin (dpa) – A day before the special European Union summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged solidarity in Europe’s refugees policy.
In a government statement to the German parliament Thursday, Merkel stressed the need for a common European asylum system and noted the connection between distribution of future budget funding and solidarity in taking in refugees.
“In the new distribution of structure funds we must see to it that the distribution criteria in the future also reflect the engagement of many regions and municipalities in taking in and integrating migrants,” she said. The European asylum system must “be crisis-proof and finally also one of solidarity, particularly when it’s about the fair distribution of refugees within the EU.”
“I want to see a Europe capable of acting, of solidarity and self-confidence,” Merkel said. On Friday, she will be meeting other EU state and government leaders, except for Britain, to discuss EU financing beyond 2020 and preparations for the next European elections. The withdrawal of Britain from the EU was also a chance to put the EU’s overall finances under scrutiny.
Lesser-developed regions continued to need support, but solidarity is not a one-way street, she said. “It is the task of every member state never to lose sight of responsibility for the whole. This self-evidently also includes preserving our common European values.”