BRUSSELS, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said on Friday all European Union countries must act in solidarity to be able to handle the rising migratory pressure and help those in need.
“Solidarity should go both ways. The message to the southern countries is clear – consolidate your borders and we will show solidarity with you with funds to better protect you external borders,” De Croo said on arriving to the second day of talks among the 27 national EU leaders, long divided over the issue.
“But the solidarity has to also go the other way because it cannot be the case that a few countries make all the efforts to welcome the people who need help. For it to work at the European level, everybody should show solidarity.”
The sensitive and divisive issue of handling refugees and migrants reaching EU territory is high on the political agenda of the bloc, which has recently noted increased arrivals via Belarus and blamed Minsk for orchestrating that.
Photo – Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo attends a face-to-face European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, 22 October 2021. EU leaders meet in Brussels on 21 and 22 October, to discuss COVID-19, digital transformation, energy prices, migration, trade and external relations. EPA-EFE/JOHANNA GERON / POOL