The European Union has lost control of its borders and risks total collapse if they are not sealed, a senior Brussels diplomat has warned.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, warned the EU was now facing a “critical point” and that the migrant crisis hadn’t even reached its peak.
As he chaired an emergency meeting of EU leaders in Brussels last night Mr Tusk painted a bleak picture of the EU’s future, saying the 28-member bloc was on the verge of breakdown with “recriminations and misunderstanding” pitting nations against one another. The future of free movement was at stake, he said, as the continent had lost control of its borders as well as a “sense of order”.
He added: “The most urgent question we should ask ourselves…is how to regain control of our external borders. “Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to even speak about common migration policy.”
He appeared to lay much of the blame with Germany, accusing Chancellor Angela Merkel of exacerbating the problem by sending the signal to desperate Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland that Germany had no limit on the number of migrants it would accept.
He added: “We need to correct our policy of open doors and windows. “Today we are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands. “It is likely that more refugees will flow towards Europe, not less.
Especially as almost all of them feel invited to Europe.” But Ms Merkel responded: “Setting up fences between members states is not the solution. “Faced with a great challenge, it can not be that Europe says we can’t handle this. “That’s why I say again and again, we can do this.”
As deep divisions continue to show between EU nations, French President Francois Hollande offered a stark assessment of the crisis engulfing the continent. He said: “Those who don’t share our values, those who don’t even want to respect those principles, need to start asking themselves questions about their place in the European Union.”
The biggest problem has been the larger EU member states (France, Germany) bossing the smaller members around. How do you force a country of 1.8m (Slovenia) to accept 120,000 refugees, yet the same number applies to France, a country of 66m. However, it is precisely what France and Germany advocate. This will undoubtedly lead to cracks in the EU block, with Eastern Europe perhaps being the first to go?