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New US policies worry EU leaders | national | Finland Times

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Sunday, 24 September, 2017
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Sat, 04 Feb, 2017 08:12:46 PM
Lacking of decision implementation raises problems: PM
FTimes-FNN Report, Feb 4

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Friday said that many problems raised in the European Union (EU) due to lack of implementation of joint decisions.

Talking to the EU leaders in an informal meeting at Valletta in Malta, he also emphasized to strengthen commitments to the EU’s common values and find a way to proceed together at the same pace, said a government press release on Saturday.

The EU heads of state or government discussed transatlantic relations in the meeting where they expressed their concerns about the policies of the new US administration regarding entry restrictions, free trade and climate change.

Sipilä told the other leaders that he felt many of the EU’s problems have arisen because joint decisions have not been put into effect. He presented the view that Nordic pragmatism could offer a middle-way solution for moving forward in a situation where, at one extreme, there is a desire to achieve closer EU cooperation, and at the other, a desire to return powers to Member States.

“We have to set tangible and realistic goals on issues that are important to people. These include promoting growth, creating jobs and developing defence policy. People will see the EU as being credible and meaningful only if it can put its objectives into practice,” continued Sipilä.

The leaders issued a declaration concerning migration and addressing the central Mediterranean route. In addition, the EU-27 leaders discussed the future of the European Union.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä explained Finland’s views on the EU’s reform agenda to the EU-27 leaders. 

The Member States’ common position on the Union’s challenges and development needs is to be presented in connection with the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties in March. 

 “A two-speed Union, in which some countries would proceed more quickly towards integration than others, is not the answer. At the anniversary meeting in Rome we must offer credible, practical responses on the question of the future of the European Union. We must strengthen our commitments to the EU’s common values and must find a way to proceed together at the same pace,” explained Sipilä.

The focus of migration in the Mediterranean has shifted from Turkey and Greece to the central Mediterranean, the route from Libya to Italy. In their declaration, the EU leaders emphasise that efforts to stabilise Libya are now more important than ever. 

The European Union supports the search for a political settlement in Libya and improvement of the country’s border security. The EU will also help ensure that there are suitable conditions in place for arrivals in Libya, in cooperation with UN organisations.

The European Union will also strengthen its cooperation with other key countries of transit and will seek to eliminate the root causes of migration in people’s home countries.

“I’m very pleased that the European Union is focusing on the sources of migration. The solution will only be found by dealing with the reasons why people leave,” said Sipilä.

“Far too many have drowned in their attempts to reach Europe. There is an urgent need to prevent further tragic, needless loss of life.”

Prime Minister Sipilä also held bilateral discussions in Malta with Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. They discussed current issues of their respective countries and the future of the European Union, the press release added.

 
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