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EU Members Urged to Speed Up Migrant Response

  • VOA News

FILE - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, pictured at a Brussels news conference in July, says the EU will lose "all kinds of credibility" if aid pledges to help with the migrant crisis aren't met.

FILE - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, pictured at a Brussels news conference in July, says the EU will lose "all kinds of credibility" if aid pledges to help with the migrant crisis aren't met.

The European Union is criticizing member countries for not acting expeditiously to provide funds and experts to help manage Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War II.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, in a report Tuesday to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, said member nations "told me they would stand to their promises and we have seen updated pledges from some, but the member states are still moving slowly at a time when they should be running.... The gap between pledges and what is on the table must be reduced. Otherwise, we are losing all kinds of credibility."

European Council President Donald Tusk said the crisis threatens key achievements of the 28-nation bloc, such as border-free travel.

"[This] is perhaps the biggest challenge we have seen for decades," Tusk said. "I have no doubt that this challenge has the potential to change the European Union we have built. It has the potential even to destroy achievements such as border-free travel between Schengen countries.

"And what is even more dangerous, it has the potential to create tectonic changes in the European political landscape. And these are not changes for the better. These are truly extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures, extraordinary sacrifices and extraordinary solidarity."

Meanwhile, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said more than 700,000 people had arrived in Europe this year, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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