Saturday, September 17, 2016

Slovak sense

Compare the following European Union council meeting concluding paragraphs on migration --

Further to the decision to fully apply the Schengen Borders Code and the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016, crossings from Turkey to the Greek islands have sharply decreased and have now almost come to a halt. It is important to continue working actively to further stabilise the situation and to ensure a sustainable solution. The legislation recently adopted by Turkey on the treatment of both Syrians and other nationalities allows for the return of migrants to Turkey in full respect of the provisions on inadmissibility under the Asylum Procedures Directive. Considerable progress has been made by both sides to implement the full range of action points contained in the EU-Turkey statement and the European Council looks forward to further determined action. The European Council recalls the need to provide continued support to Western Balkan countries, including in their fight against smugglers, and to remain vigilant about potential developments regarding other routes so as to be able to take rapid and concerted action. Further action is required to accelerate the implementation of the existing relocation and resettlement schemes.


  • Never to allow return to uncontrolled flows of last year and further bring down number of irregular migrants 
  • Ensure full control of our external borders and get back to Schengen 
  • Broaden EU consensus on long term migration policy and apply the principles of responsibility and solidarity

The first is from the Council's meeting in June, immediately post-Brexit. The second is from the Bratislava meeting under the Slovakia EU Presidency a couple of days ago.

There is an extraordinary difference in language. The first is classic EU/ G20 style New Class stuff, written for each other and not the general public. The second follows an explicit commitment from Slovakia's EU Presidency to write in an accessible style for the public. Now it remains to be seen whether the actual policies will be any different. But, it's a good start!

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