21 October 2015
European Conservatives and Reformists Group home affairs spokesman Timothy Kirkhope MEP has written to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker urging him to extend to all EU leaders his invitation to Sunday’s EU meeting.
The meeting will involve leaders of EU countries Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, and non-EU neighbours Serbia and Macedonia. Although the primary aim of the meeting – called by Chancellor Merkel – is to calm tensions in Europe’s South-East, Mr Kirkhope has warned that the decisions taken by the meeting could have implications for many other European countries who should not feel decisions are once again being foisted upon them by a small group of countries.
Mr Kirkhope has recently been appointed as the European Parliament’s rapporteur on plans for a permanent relocation mechanism within the EU.
His letter reads:
Dear President Juncker,
I note that you are planning to host a meeting of some EU and Balkan leaders this Sunday. Given the escalation of this crisis on Europe’s south-eastern border, I believe it is correct to seek to bring leaders together to help defuse what is becoming a very worrying situation.
However, I am very concerned that decisions being made in this meeting could have significant impacts on other EU countries that will not be able to represent their interests at this meeting.
By only inviting one ‘destination’ country – Germany – I fear that you will give many other EU countries – especially in northern and central Europe – the strong impression that decisions are being made by a handful of countries that will have lasting effects in all EU Member States.
Therefore, I believe the meeting on Sunday should be made available to all EU leaders that wish to participate, so that any agreements reached have the full support of all EU Member States, and especially those that will be directly affected by any decisions that are taken in the ‘transit’ countries of South Eastern Europe.
Timothy Kirkhope MEP
European Conservatives and Reformists Group home affairs spokesman
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