Migrants and refugees: the first priority is to rapidly stem the flows and respect Schengen
March 3, 2016
Europe is “facing an enormous challenge today with the unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants”, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday 2 March 2016, during a visit to Croatia, where he discussed migrants traveling via the ‘Balkan route’. “It is a crisis that is testing our European Union to the limits, as it is no less testing your region”, the Balkans, he added.
For Tusk, it is a crisis that is provoking tensions between the Member States and neighbouring countries. “We have to avoid an illusion that instead of the full respect for Schengen rules, there might be another, easy and convenient European solution. Respecting the Schengen rules will not solve the migration crisis. But without it we have no chance whatsoever to resolve it”, he said.
Tusk noted: “the first priority is to rapidly stem the flows and reduce illegal migration while preserving the integrity of the Schengen area (…) I want to state here very clearly: there is no alternative to respecting Schengen Code”.