GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer has described how last week's European Council meeting on immigration, data protection, economic coordination and the digital economy was a “missed opportunity characterised by dithering”.

“No decisions were taken about some of the most pressing issues,” she said. “Despite the tragic events off Lampedusa, migration and asylum policy was not prioritised.”

She continued: “We are hearing talk about 'Digital Europe' but where is the funding to make this a reality? Every economist knows that the figures don't add up, as do the politicians, but they choose to ignore this fact. We hear a lot of talk of all the things that the EU is going to finance but then this comes to nothing.”

President Zimmer was speaking at a special 'Conference of Presidents' meeting which saw European Parliament Group Presidents and MEPs meet European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and Inter-Institutional Relations Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič to discuss the outcome of EU leaders' talks last week.

Zimmer added: “Eurobarometer surveys show that confidence in the institutions is on the decline and these Council conclusions are certainly not guaranteed to mobilise voters next spring. Are we are set to remain on a cycle of summit after summit where each one is of less and less significance? It is us in the EP who have to convince people to engage with European politics before the elections, but it is hardly surprising that people are uninterested when EU leaders are doing everything they can to make people despondent and doubt the sense of voting. EU leaders don't want any open discussion ahead of the elections about what kind of EU we want.”
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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