European Union (EU) architect and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has released a statement hailing the “existential” difficulties forced by the Europe migrant crisis, and calling on Europe to limit mass migration.
Meeting over lunch at former Chancellor Kohl’s German home yesterday, the two prominent European figures released a joint statement after the 80-minute session calling for Europe to help improve the lives of “millions of people”, but to take action “beyond Europe”, not to welcome migrants to the continent.
In the statement, the men said the challenge faced by Europe is to find “the best way to address an existential question for millions of people in a humanitarian manner. It is about a good future for Europe and peace in the world”.
Emphasising that mass migration to Europe was not the cure to the world’s woes, the statement said the continent would at the very best only offer “transitional asylum, or even a new [home] country, to only a minority of people”, reports EUObserver. Indeed, they remarked: “There is not a solution for everyone [in Europe].
“Europe should rather act with the certainty that it will not become a new home for millions of people in need around the world… solutions should be found beyond Europe”.
The men said the European Union should do more to help crisis-hit regions to prevent citizens of those areas leaving them, reports HungaryToday. The remarks shadow those made by former Chancellor Kohl last week.
Despite the clear line taken by the men on the migrant crisis and their distance from the clearly pro-mass migration policies of Angela Merkel, the German media has taken the statement as an endorsement of the government.
Focussing on their admission they “agreed on the goal” Ms. Merkel was pursuing — improving the living conditions for “millions of people in a humanitarian matter”, much reporting chose to ignore the fact they fundamentally disagreed with her methods. German paper Bild reported instead that the meeting showed “Kohl and Orban on Merkel’s Side” and did not at all mention the pair’s remarks that Europe could not be a new home to millions.
German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported the meeting “stressed support for Merkel”
The news of the meeting when first announced less than a fortnight ago was met with some concern in Berlin, where former Kohl political protégé, now leader of Germany Ms. Merkel is struggling with plunging popularity ratings. That her most strident international critic, Mr. Orban was to visit “set alarm bell ringing”, according to reports.
As part of yesterday’s meeting, Mr. Orban presented his proposals to what he calls “Schengen 2.0”, his mooted successor to the imperilled Schengen open-borders agreement presently being torn apart by the migrant crisis. Although exact details are not yet known, Mr. Orban made some reference to the package last week, and it may seek to preserve internal freedom of movement by properly closing Europe’s external borders to illegal immigrants.
Mr. Orban is reported to have brought Mr. Kohl a variety of gifts, including a bunch of flowers, a selection of finest Hungarian wines, and sausage, and an advance copy of the Hungarian translation of former Chancellor Kohl’s book.
The otherwise unnoticed re-release of the book in a new language, which otherwise was going on unnoticed made headlines this week when Germany’s Bild gained early access to the new foreword written by Chancellor Kohl. Hailing Mr. Orban and the Hungarian people as his “friends”, Kohl expressed concern that the “millions” of people migrating to Europe did not follow the “Judeo-Christian faith”.
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