Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), met last night with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament (EP) as well as Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, along with political leaders from the two parliaments.
“Not surprisingly top of the agenda was the refugee crisis,” said Ms Brasseur. “Every day we see desperate people taking even more desperate measures to find asylum in Europe. Pictures from yesterday of violence at Hungarian fences, built to keeping people out, and flows of refugees heading towards Croatia, means more than ever that we have to find common solutions to common challenges with a common humanity.
We have to work together, and solutions should not just be short term fixes but long term strategies,” Ms Braseur said. “This applies to the migration phenomenon and the current refugee crisis, but also to many of the other problems Europe is facing. In our discussions with political leaders and Mr Hahn, we were able to touch on a number of other issues, which included the conflict in Ukraine and relations with Russia, as well as worrying developments in Turkey, and on-going problems in Azerbaijan. Political leaders from the different political groups, agreed to continue their discussions and co-operation to find common solutions.
“Governments need to stand up to their responsibilities,” Ms Brasseur concluded, “and show leadership, as Chancellor Merkel has bravely done in Germany.”
Ms Brasseur thanked President Schulz for the timing of his initiative to bring together the political leaders from the two Parliaments, and invite at the same time Commissioner Hahn.