Can the EU summit resolve the row over migration?

The EU summit that begins today is supposed to bring a breakthrough in the row over asylum and migration policy. It will focus on the reform of the Dublin regulations and the policy on refugees arriving in boats. European media outlets put forward their proposals.

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Aftonbladet (SE) /

A coalition of the willing

Aftonbladet proposes a two-speed Europe regarding migration policy:

“If at least nine countries show interest, cooperation can be initiated along the lines of the monetary union and the European Public Prosecutor's Office. ... Without Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Italy, there are still 23 countries that are willing to cooperate. Of course that will also entail certain risks. If not all countries are obliged to participate, the cooperation could be weak. For now, however, coordinating the countries that are willing is more important than exerting pressure on those that aren't. We must not allow egocentric right-wing governments to hold Europe hostage.”

Malta Today (MT) /

A Marshall Plan for Libya

Stabilising Libya is essential in order to stop illegal migration, Malta Today stresses:

“Europe must step in with a Marshall Plan for Libya. First and foremost, the plan must foresee investment in Libya that helps foster security, jobs, prosperity and social improvement for ordinary Libyans. Europe and Malta have a role to play to disrupt the fuel smuggling networks in Libya that are providing the financial lifeline for competing militia groups and depriving the state of the necessary income. … Libya, of course, will take a lot longer to stabilise. But setbacks should not prevent the EU from giving up on a neighbour. Clearly, having a failed state on its southern doorstep is not an option for Europe.”

Figyelő (HU) /

Reception centres for more security

The heads of state and government should finally take the citizens' desire for security seriously and set up reception centres for migrants on the EU's outer borders, demands the right-wing nationalist weekly Figyelö:

“There can be no doubt that once a migrant crosses the border to the Schengen Area it is entirely up to him where he heads to escape the authorities. Closed camps could prevent him from wandering all over the continent without the authorities knowing who he is or what he wants. But such centres are out of the question because they violate his basic rights. The right of European citizens to security, which clashes with these rights, is naturally not a strong enough argument for these 'guardians of the law'.”

Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Germany must not be the only state to have a say

It's time to take the Viségrad states' approach to the refugee crisis seriously, Rzeczpospolita urges:

“In 2015, when Angela Merkel opened the borders for millions of refugees, she didn't even warn François Hollande, her most important partner at the time. Back then, however, she wanted France - like other countries - to shoulder part of the refugee burden. Today high-ranking EU diplomats admit that Viktor Orbán and Donald Tusk were the first to warn that a poorly managed refugee crisis could trigger another wave, one of populism and a threat to the stability of the EU. Perhaps after these developments not only the opinions of the powerful countries will be considered in Brussels.”

La Stampa (IT) /

EU will task Vienna with building the fortress

The summit will not produce a solution to the asylum problem but will simply outsource it, La Stampa writes, citing a document that calls for closed borders:

“Because Europe is unable to find an internal solution for dealing with the migration issue it is willing to turn itself into a bunker. A plan has already been drawn up. It has been signed by the Austrian government, which is taking over the rotating EU presidency for six months on Sunday. This evening the European Council will task Austria with sorting out the entire migration package and in particular the reform of the Dublin Protocol. La Stampa gained access to a document that Vienna will present on Monday to the EU security committee. In the document the Austrian government bases its position on a very clear theory: migration phenomena pose a security threat.”

De Standaard (BE) /

Playing into the hands of the right

The future of Germany's coalition government is also at stake at the EU summit because the conservative CSU is putting Chancellor Merkel under pressure in the row over asylum. The CSU's policy is unwise, Der Standard believes:

“The Bavarian conservatives are punching way above their weight in Berlin. By making migration the focus of the Bavarian state election [in the autumn] they are playing right into the hands of their rivals on the right, the AfD. If you put your opponent's main topic at the centre of your campaign you give them legitimacy and put your own party in the role of nothing but a poor copy. Not a wise political strategy. And yet Horst Seehofer, the CSU's leader and Germany's interior minister, continues his confrontation policy. ... A defeat in football and chaos in its politics. For the Germans nothing is certain any more.”