The so-called Balkan migration route has been the focus of attention at a mini summit in Vienna of leaders from affected countries. Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern welcomed head of states form Germany,Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia as well as the European Council President Donald Tusk.
The Leaders’ and Institution Heads’ will to find a “solution” was clear right from the beginning.
We need to confirm politically & in practice that the Western Balkan route of irregular migration is closed for good https://t.co/Aa5sdQRy2C
— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) September 24, 2016
Angela Merkel called for rejected asylum-seekers to return to home countries.
Speaking to reporters in Vienna, she said it was incumbent upon EU leaders to “stop illegal immigration while living up to our humanitarian responsibilities.”
In order to achieve this, Merkel said, “it is necessary to get agreements with third countries, especially in Africa but also Pakistan and Afghanistan… so that it becomes clear that those with no right to stay in Europe can go back to their home countries.
“Hungarian PM Viktor Orban proposed that Europe should set up what he called a “gigantic refugee city” on the coast of Libya where asylum requests from African refugees could be processed.
Also present was Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has pleaded for more solidarity towards his country where the route’s closure has blocked tens of thousands of migrants and refugees.
Austria and Slovenia have called for greater cooperation to reinforce the EU’s external borders and reduce illegal immigration.
Overall numbers have fallen partly due to a deal between the EU and Turkey which has agreed to prevent people from leaving its shores – but the future of the accord is in doubt.
Last week EU leaders agreed to reinforce Bulgaria’s border with Turkey and intensify security cooperation.” (euronews)
PS am I right in my impression that the leaders keep reiterating the same position at each and every summit on Migration?