ERR in Brussels: European Council fails to reach consensus on migration

European Council.
European Council. Source: European Union/Stenbock House

The European Council instructed the European Commission to look into ways of using Russia's frozen assets for Ukraine. However, leaders failed to find a consensus on migration issues.

The Council instructed the European Commission to investigate the use of Russia's frozen assets for Ukraine's reconstruction, despite opposition from the European Central Bank (ECB). "We will put forward a proposal that focuses on the frozen assets of the Russian central bank," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) and von der Leyen agreed that the European Central Bank's concerns on the issue were unfounded. "These arguments might have been valid when we froze these assets: the inability to use one's assets is, after all, a violation of property rights. Now we are past that point," Kallas said, adding that further steps are less controversial.

The council had a rather hollow discussion on migration, with Poland and Hungary attempting to obstruct a resolution, to the point where the official outcome paper may lack a chapter on migration entirely.

Hungary was particularly obstinate, declaring, "We will not vote for any of the outcomes. We do not want to reach any outcome."

"It was not a matter of doing something one way or another; rather, it was a matter of not wanting to mention migration at all," Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob explained.

"I would rather not have any conclusions than bad ones. They are unacceptable if they violate the Treaties," Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said.

"I also listened carefully to the arguments of both sides, and it seemed to me that there was a great deal of animosity stemming from previous debates, with little focus on what we want to agree upon," Kallas added.

Despite the lack of conclusions, the common positions on the migration pact agreed in early June will be taken forward.

The next meeting of EU heads of state and government will take place in October.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Kristina Kersa

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