Philippe Lamberts: Rome summit a rehash of previous EU meetings

Parliament’s Greens/EFA group co-Chair Philippe Lamberts has branded last week’s EU summit in Brussels as “a non event.”


Philippe Lamberts Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual

By Martin Banks

14 Mar 2017

He said the only substantial decision to come out of the two-day summit was the reappointment of former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as Council President.

Speaking in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Lamberts, said, “The summit did not discuss Brexit and we were not impressed by it at all.

“If you also see what has been prepared for the Rome summit this month we are not impressed by that either. It is just a rehash of previous summits.”

On Brexit, Lamberts said that, if as expected UK Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 on 27 March, then the European Parliament’s conference of presidents - group leaders - will meet the next day with a view to the institution drafting a resolution.

Lamberts also gave cautious support of a multi speed Europe emerging from the Brexit result despite opposition to the idea from some member states, mostly in central Europe such as Poland.

He said, “We would prefer the 28 pulling together as one but this –-a multi speed Europe - would not be a matter of us setting up private clubs but, rather creating a coalition of the willing.”

Speaking at the same news conference, co-Chair Ska Keller pointed out that it will be the first anniversary of the controversial EU-Turkey deal on refugees in the next few days. The agreement saw Turkey continue to receive EU aid in return for agreeing to provide refuge for refugees and asylum seekers.

The German MEP pointed out that Turkey is hosting more refugees than the rest of the EU put together.

But she told reporters, “The Turkey refugee deal has led to immense human suffering on the Greek islands.”

She added that her group was also “deeply worried” about the current situation in Turkey under the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Last week’s EU summit also adopted a text on the Balkans and, on this issue, she said, “We are also looking with great concern at the Balkans. It would be disastrous if things will be destroyed there by corruption. We need to keep a close connection to the Balkans.”

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