It’s a somewhat scattershot top end to the Swedish presidency. But one issue that will cause debate is migration and the possible financial support the EU should provide to countries outside the union, such as Turkey and Tunisia, to help prevent migrants from reaching the EU.
– That we discuss how to protect Europe’s borders as a prerequisite for being able to open internal borders is very important. I understand there is broader support today for such action, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (C) said on his way to the meeting.
When asked about the government’s position on sending an asylum-seeker to a third country, such as Rwanda, as Britain and Denmark wanted to do, in order to run asylum tests there, Christerson replied that it was not up for debate now, but that asylum tests should take place outside the EU.
– We said that in the end we will reach a stage where asylum is examined outside Europe So that we know that those who entered Europe have been granted asylum. We cannot have a situation where many people enter Europe and then disappear.
On her way to the meeting, Italy’s Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, said the EU should push for money to deal with migration.
– We need money to solve this problem. Money that should not be spent only on security, we need more general cooperation between Mediterranean countries and African countries. And that’s what I’m working on — through strategic partnerships.
The meeting will also discuss more support for Ukraine and Ukraine’s way to join the European Union. Several leaders also commented on the way to the meeting about the Wagner paramilitary group’s rebellion against Russian President Putin this weekend and what that might mean. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that this is evidence of cracks in the Russian system. Whereas the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Josep Borrell, meant it could also mean danger for the rest of Europe.
– It is clear that Putin will emerge from this crisis weak. But Putin’s weakness is dangerous. So we must be vigilant.
Several leaders said it was now also important for the EU to monitor developments in Belarus, where the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is now located.
– We are closely following what is happening in Belarussaid European Council President Charles Michel.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that what happened in Russia increases the need to provide support to Ukraine.
Most importantly, we are doubling support to Ukraine.
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