What are the fruits of the last 2016 EU summit?

The leaders of the European Union agreed at their summit in Brussels on Thursday to extend the sanctions against Moscow. They also discussed the refugee issue and the situation in Syria as reported by the mayor of eastern Aleppo. The press voices disappointment with the results of the last EU summit in 2016.

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Le Soir (BE) /

Europe's stance towards Syrians is intolerable

The Europeans' attitude towards those who are suffering the effects of or fleeing the war in Syria is doubly disappointing, Le Soir rails:

“The agony in Aleppo could rouse people from their torpor, but it's perfectly clear how little interest the Europeans have in intervening in the inextricable chaos of the Middle East. Particularly as they have so much to worry about at home: Brexit, populism, extremism, terrorism. And the migration crisis. At least this distressing demonstration of powerlessness in Syria could be compensated by more sympathy for the refugees of this atrocious war. What we're seeing, however, is a considerable amount of energy being put into keeping the victims as far as possible from our territory.”

La Stampa (IT) /

EU concentrating on survival

The EU is just about keeping its head above water, La Stampa sighs:

“The EU came up with tactical but not strategic answers yesterday. In normal times that would be enough. But not in a phase in which all the rules are being questioned, both inside and outside the EU. 2016 was a year of global change. The summit took place in a new world: the world of Trump's presidency, of Brexit and of the ruthless law of the jungle in Syria. In addition it has been a devastating year for the EU in which it lost an important member and saw several leaders fail in elections. It still hasn't solved the refugee crisis and was conspicuous by its absence in Syria and Libya. The willingness to scrutinise itself, to be self-critical, is lacking, above all in the European institutions. But it must do this to learn its lessons. The EU is muddling through: that is the message from the summit. … Let's hope that will be enough, because we need Europe now more than ever!”