The outcome of the October EU summit came under fire during a European Parliament debate on Wednesday.
The leaders of the European Parliament’s political groups took aim at the lack of decisions taken by the heads of State or government who met on 18 October to discuss migration, internal EU security and Brexit.
At the beginning of the debate with European Council President, Donald Tusk and Commission First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, President Tajani recalled the European Parliament’s three key expectations set out before the summit: the “Dublin reform” of the EU’s asylum system, the EU’s long-term budget (Multiannual Financial Framework), and Brexit negotiations, including citizens’ rights and the “backstop” issue.
Most of the speakers placed the responsibility for a lack of a deal in Brexit negotiations on the British government and reiterated their support for the European Commission and EU negotiator Michel Barnier. They criticised the UK for “juggling figures” and “playing with the percentages”, while 90 or 95 per cent of the agreement still means no agreement. They called on the EU negotiators and Mr Tusk in his capacity as European Council president to prioritise preserving the rights of EU citizens during the talks.
A majority of speakers strongly criticised the members states’ “inability or unwillingness” to address asylum and migration policies that have been “on the agenda of the Council for three years”. They expressed substantial concerns regarding Italy’s budget, while the euro zone has not managed to finalise its financial system reform. Ten years after the last financial crisis, the EU is still unprepared for a new crisis, certain MEPs concluded. Some MEPs even wondered why heads of state or government decided to hold this summit if, while the “EU is facing existential challenges”, they are only capable of presenting a “choreography with no impact”.
To view video replays of statements, click on name:
Françoise GROSSETËTE (EPP, FR)
Udo BULLMANN (S&D, DE)
Syed KAMALL (ECR, UK)
Guy VERHOFSTADT (ALDE, BE)
Philippe LAMBERTS (Greens/EFA, BE)
Gabriele ZIMMER (GUE/NGL, DE)
Nigel FARAGE (EFDD, UK)
Nicolas BAY (ENF, FR)
You can catch up with the debate here
Procedure::Debate without resolution
Debate: Wednesday, 24 October