EU summit: a Lot of criticism for a farewell


Enlargement, Turkey, financial Affairs: The second summit day a lot of strife and frustration in the EU was obvious. Two Newly-retired, take no sheet before the mouth. From Brussels Bernd Riegert.

No Happy-End: Juncker (li.) and Tusk will leave the EU stage frustrated

Goodbye EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of the Council of the EU, Donald Tusk, waving, in the well-stocked press room of the Council building in Brussels. “Bye-bye!” they call. Some journalists applaud what is frowned upon in the press room, actually. For Juncker and Tusk, the divorce, both at the end of November from the office, this Friday is the last EU summit to end. “That was my 148. The summit,” says Jean-Claude Juncker, then in the smaller circle. “That’s enough.” Juncker was for five years head of the European Commission and before several decades as Finance Minister and head of government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on the Brussels parquet on the go. “Many of them,” says Juncker, the Reporter contacted “me years, if not decades, experienced. I thank you for your questions. I have learned a lot.”

“Historical Mistake”

Less satisfied were Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, with the result of the latest EU summit. The heads of state and heads of government accused Tusk of failure, because they managed to invite North of Macedonia and Albania accession negotiations. “These two countries are not ready, we are,” he said. 25 heads of state and government endorsed in a six-hour-long discussion, after years of preparatory talks, with the two Balkan countries accession to start; only France, the Netherlands and Denmark refused to do it. Since unanimity is required, there was no green light for the two countries, which meet in the opinion of the EU Commission, all the conditions and all the Reform-homework is done.

Promote accession: Tusk Albanian President Edi Rama visited in September in Tirana

The current no was “a historic mistake, a really historic mistake,” said Juncker. The rejection, especially by the French President Emmanuel Macron driven, is indeed a mistake, but there is no “ultimate Failure,” said Tusk. “I beg of you, don’t give up now! Hold on to the project,” said Tusk, to all the people in the North of Macedonia and Albania turned. “I am ashamed,” he added.

Macron wants to Reform the accession process

The EU heads of state and government would be the Balkans, at the latest, at the West summit deal in may 2020 with the expansion, has promised to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “I very much regret that,” Merkel said. “The German Position could not prevail.”

The Chancellor had already tried earlier on Wednesday, during her Meeting with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Toulouse, this to change their minds. The President explained his lonely Veto after the summit meeting that North Macedonia and Albania have not yet implemented all of the reforms that were necessary. “The whole accession process is far too bureaucratic. It is not the case that there is only the extension as the only Form of neighbourhood policy”, criticized Macron. “Also not is that we work better when we are more and more. The collaboration works right now is not particularly good.” Before he could agree to accession talks, he wanted to achieve a Reform of the EU, Macron.

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The EU summit by the candidate

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that the EU will lose its credibility. “Who wants to be respected, you must respect its promise,” said Juncker. The EU approves Northern Macedonia in 2009, Albania and 2018, the maturity for accession negotiations. All Western Balkan countries had already been in 2003, the accession perspective was opened. With Serbia and Montenegro is already negotiating. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo, which is not recognised by all EU member States, are not yet so far, says the EU Commission in their current ratings.

Reminders and assistance to Turkey

Negotiations with Turkey, but for years, ice has been underway since 2005 to join. With this accession candidates, the EU currently has other Worries. The heads of state and government condemned unanimously, the military offensive by Turkey into Northern Syria. “We must now see whether the US negotiated ceasefire can lead to a conflict settlement. We would wish, of course, with a view to the many people and many children,” said Chancellor Merkel at the conclusion of the EU summit. Specific sanctions against Turkey, however, has not been discussed.

Merkel wants Turkey because of its Syria-Offensive to punish

The military action of Turkey must also be clearly separated from the refugee policy, said Angela Merkel. Turkey supplies around 3.6 million Syrian refugees in their own country, and in accordance with the refugee agreement with the EU to ensure that not too many of them travel to Greece and in the EU. “We have to call for support all the countries affected in the Eastern Mediterranean of the Migration in a very special way. The great work Turkey for the Syrian refugees is part of. For this purpose, we intend to grant further financial support,” Merkel said.

No movement in the money

For violent quarrel with the future finances of the EU. From 2021, the EU has to operate without the net contributors to the UK and wants to spend more money. Where the priorities for spending should be and where to make savings, is completely open. “It was a first discussion. It is clear that there can be no agreement,” said the French President Macron after the summit. Jean-Claude Juncker, whose budget was design to oppose, said it more clearly. For him it was a waste of time: “Everyone has repeated its well-known position. There was no direction for the negotiations and no guidelines. Nothing!”

A decision on the Budget is postponed to the next year. So Juncker’s successor, the future EU will have to deal with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. If he had a good piece of advice for you, Juncker asked on Leaving the summit Arena. “No, I do not give advice to the public. What I would say now would be of more impact than the Council,” says Juncker, grins and gets into his car.