Heard in Europe

There is still “bad blood” among EU leaders and ambassadors over Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s failed attempt to gain support for a revamp of migration policy at the last European Council.

EurActiv reported in April how heads of state and government were left unimpressed by Juncker’s proposals at their last meeting. Migration is back on the agenda at today’s summit in Brussels (25 June).

When he was campaigning for the presidency of the Commission, Juncker championed a common EU asylum and migration policy.

>>Read: Juncker dealt double blow on immigration

Heard in Europe has learnt that some member states are still angry about what they saw as a ham-fisted ploy to curry favour with the European Parliament.

Migration was “big, difficult politics” in almost every EU country, a senior diplomat said.

And Juncker’s presentation of an “overly technical” set of rules, put forward without any prior consultation, showed a lack of understanding of that.

There was a feeling the gambit was motivated by a belief it would play well in the Parliament, the diplomat said.

The source hinted that European Council Donald Tusk was also not on board with Juncker’s move. That was one of the reasons the Council conclusions were noticably different to the Commission’s ideas.

Migration back on agenda

Most of the afternoon and the evening of today’s summit should be dedicated to the question of migration, said a high-ranking EU official.

“More and more, when we talk to the member states, there’s more and more focus on the need to strengthen return policy, readmission policy, reintegration policy in the countries of origin,” he said.

>>Read: EU summit to close the windows for immigrants

Photo courtesy of the European Council.

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