Summit on asylum was “a deplorable spectacle”

The Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel (Francophone liberal) has reacted with disappointment to the failure of EU heads of government to reach an agreement on quotas for the reception of refugees. Speaking after Thursday’s European Summit, Mr Michel told journalists that “As far as some countries are concerned solidarity only works one way.”

The Belgian Prime Minister was responding to the opposition of mainly Eastern European EU member states to a quota system to ensure a fair distribution of refugees across the European Union. Mr Michel believes that this is a very bad sign and “bad for the future of Europe”.

Only after an exhaustive discussion did EU leaders agree to accommodate 60,000 refugees. There will be no quote and each member state is free to accept as many or as few refugees as it sees fit. The Baltic States and a number of other Eastern European were particularly strongly opposed to the introduction of quotas.
"It was a very difficult meeting.

I am not happy, because I think that Europe can do better. Immigration is an important issue for the future of Europe. What I saw yesterday was that some countries find solidarity difficult and this poses a big problem for the future”, Mr Michel called yesterday’s meeting “a deplorable display”.

Secretary of State optimistic

The Belgian Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken (Flemish nationalist) believes that everything will be alright.

"Everyone is doing something and I think that this is a good thing. As regards Belgium, We are a hospitable country and already accommodate at lot of refugees, well above the European average. We are prepared to do our bit as long as Greece and Italy identify new refugees at the point of entry.”