Juncker asks for greater solidarity with Italy and Greece on migration

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker asked member-states on Friday to show greater solidarity with Greece and Italy in their efforts to deal with the repercussions of the refugee and migration crisis, during a speech at the ‘State of the Union 2018’ conference in Florence.

Juncker acknowledged that solidarity cannot built in a day and has to develop over time but underlined that crises weaken the EU and lead to a rise in populism and nationalism.

Solidarity should not be confined to migration issues but should also apply in the economy, added Juncker, citing the example of the economic support for countries undergoing structural economic reforms and the reserve funds in the European budget for coping with emergencies and delicate situations. Another exampe of such solidarity, Juncker said, was the doubling of the funds for Erasmus programme.

Finally, referring to EU’s weakenesses, Juncker supported the abolition of unanimity in the decision-making processes that refer to foreign and tax policy.