The European Union will continue to look after and host Syrian refugees and other victims of war, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini told the Brussels media yesterday after a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
“The European Union strongly believes in a system that is based on international rules and norms, full respect of all individuals, regardless of their religion, of their ethnic background or their country or nationality or gender and we will continue to be this way,” said Mogherini.
The EU is the biggest donor in the world to the Syrian people and the neighbouring countries which are doing so much to support those forced to flee the country, making available more than 9 million euros since the start of the fighting in Syria.
“For us, it is an investment first of all in their lives, but also in our own security, because any single day that a Syrian child is out of school exposes him or her to a future that is definitely not a future of commitment and engagement in the way we would like to see,” said the High Representative.
Looking ahead to Friday’s meeting of EU leaders in Malta, Mogherini pointed to the package of measures she presented last week to strengthen the EU’s capacity to manage the flow of migrants in the Central Mediterranean.
In her discussion with Minister Brende, the major topic was the work the EU and Norway do together in the Middle East, and the preparation for the Brussels conference on Syria which the High Representative is organising in spring.
“This year we hope to have a conference that will not only take stock of the pledges, but also allow us to turn the page for a political solution to the conflict.”
Press statements video
Syria: Council response to the crisis
EEAS – The EU and the crisis in Syria
European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection – Syrian crisis factsheet