Sunday

18th Nov 2018

Tusk: EU migration critics guilty of 'hypocrisy'

  • Tusk: 'Wealth is not the only element that determines where people choose the future for their children' (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

EU Council head Donald Tusk has said states which don't take refugees, but still criticise EU migration policy, are guilty of "hypocrisy".

Speaking at the UN assembly in New York on Tuesday (29 September), he said: "Many countries represented here deal with this problem in a much more simple way; namely, by not allowing migrants and refugees to enter their territories at all".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"This is why suggesting that Europe is an example of poor treatment or indifference towards asylum-seekers is sheer hypocrisy".

He did not name and shame other UN members.

But his comments come amid wider criticism that rich Arab states, especially Saudi Arabia, have done nothing to help.

He noted that wealth isn't the only pull factor for Europe, however.

"Wealth is not the only element that determines where people choose the future for their children; such values like tolerance, openness, respect for diversity, freedom, human rights and the Geneva Convention are also a magnet attracting them to us", he said.

International criticism of Europe is based, in part, on its internal divisions on the crisis.

The same day, Italian PM Matteo Renzi, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, took a swipe at Baltic States which take EU development funds but resist migrant quotas.

"If you think about single member states who won't accept 300 people after all the euros [they got from the EU] to save their countries, I think this is immoral", he said.

The Hungarian PM, Viktor Orban, also in the Wall Street Journal, echoed Tusk.

"The US and other countries, and even the rich Arab countries should take some [refugees]", he said.

He too spoke of "hypocrisy", but he aimed at EU members such as France and Spain, which have anti-migrant fences, but which criticise Hungary's razor-wire barrier.

"That's clear evidence of hypocrisy in European politics … our wall is the number five wall", he noted.

Meanwhile, Zoran Milanovic, the Croatian PM, speaking to press in Europe, said Hungary's border clampdown "is totally unacceptable from a human point of view".

But Germany - the most migrant-friendly EU country to date - has also begun to restrict entry.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet, on Tuesday, approved a law to automatically expel asylum seekers from Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

It expects up to 1 million claimants this year, some 40 percent of them from the Western Balkans.

The International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday that 522,124 people have come to Europe by sea in the past nine months.

It said 388,000 people, 175,000 of whom came from Syria, travelled via Turkey to Greece.

The rest, some 131,000, came from north Africa to Italy.

It noted that 2,890 people died trying to make the crossings - a conservative estimate, based only on bodies which EU coastguards recover at sea.

Tusk says 'alarming' numbers of migrants in Libya

Council chief substantiated concern that more people could cross the Mediterranean to Italy and Malta, and warned that relying on refugee relocations to face migrant flows would be a “mistake”.

News in Brief

  1. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  2. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem
  3. Protesters call for Czech leader to step down
  4. Former German chancellor labelled 'enemy' of Ukraine
  5. French lead opposition to Brexit deal on fisheries
  6. Private accounts of Danske Bank employees investigated
  7. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  8. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May

Opinion

Interpol, China and the EU

China joins a long list of countries - including Russia - accused of abusing Interpol's 'Red Notice' system to harras activists and dissidents.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  2. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars
  3. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  4. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  5. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  6. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  7. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  8. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us