German foreign minister advises EU to unite over refugees

Foreign minister of Germany says European Union should unite to deal with refugee influx otherwise failure is inevitable

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Updated Dec 11, 2015

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the European Union on Thursday to unite to deal with the refugee influx affecting the continent or otherwise risk failure.

Germany has been struggling with a huge refugee influx of around one million refugees this year. As a result, the country is reaching for EU partners to help it deal with the crisis. However, some countries especially in eastern Europe seem reluctant to take a greater share of migrants.

"Either Europe stands together and acts with solidarity in times of hardship for hundreds of thousands, or fences and barriers will again be raised," Steinmeier said during a speech to fellow Social Democrat (SPD) members at the party's annual congress.

"And then the vision of a united Europe crumbles," he said.

He added that the European project should be pushed ahead "to oppose the right-wing populists."

Steinmeier’s comments came after the recent regional elections in France in which the far-right National Front made strong gains which are expected to be reflected in the country's 2017 presidential elections.

President of the European Parliament Parliament Martin Schulz also stated that the European Union is in danger of falling apart and its supporters’ help is needed to avoid this.

In addition, European officials are struggling with the UK’s demands for EU reform in the run up to a referendum on the country's EU membership.

Poland has said that it still hasn't achieved any kind of agreement oer the UK’s desire to reduce welfare payments to EU citizens staying in the UK.

TRTWorld and agencies