Speaking after a meeting of interior ministers in Luxembourg, Italian minister Roberto Maroni from the anti-immigrant Lega Nord party, said his country had to "consider if it is still worth being part of the EU," since nobody wanted to help shoulder the immigration burden.
"It's fine when Italy contributes to euro bail-outs, to wars, but on this very specific issue of helping us out, EU states are absolutely not willing to show solidarity," he said on his way out of the ministers' meeting.
The Italian government last Thursday issued a decree granting temporary residence to the roughly 23,000 Tunisian migrants who arrived via the tiny island of Lampedusa. But the permits are seen as a free pass to France, with the French authorities having already sent back hundreds of Tunisians at the Italian border.
Germany, France and Austria, along with other countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Slovakia, view Schengen as a matter of trust among member states. Italy is "undermining this basic principle," one diplomat present at the "heated debate" said.
Austria, which shares a land border with Italy, threatened to re-impose borders. Interior minister Maria Fekter warned of the "collapse of the Schengen system" if Italy's behaviour is tolerated.
след два месеца и половина:
Here's what Wall said, at a seminar run by the Policy Network thinktank in London: "We have seen the high point of the European Union. With a bit of luck it will last our lifetime [Wall is 64]. But it's on the way out. After all, very few institutions last forever"...
Yet the remarkable thing about Wall's pessimism is that it no longer seems so remarkable... The platonic Europe of which Jean Monnet and Jacques Delors dreamed, a Europe with unifying institutions of law and government, with a single demos and a single chair at the high counsels of the world, is retreating on several fronts.
The single currency is the most dramatic. But the collapse of the Schengen treaty on freedom of movement within the EU is almost as potent a sign, a response not just to the surges of migration triggered by the Arab spring, but also to national concerns about jobs and welfare in the recession. Meanwhile, Europe's failure to evolve an effective common security and foreign policy, highlighted in Nato over Libya as in the past in Afghanistan and Iraq, and excoriatingly exposed by the US defence secretary Robert Gates earlier this month, underscores not just a failure to progress, but in practice a further retreat from a meaningful common approach...
I say this as someone who wanted and wants the European project to succeed, who still believes that our collective interests lie in a single, though smaller, probably northern European federal state with an overarching, directly elected government where appropriate; a single currency; shared tax and social solidarity systems; common defence and security policies; and occupying a single seat at the world's summits. That Europe would get my vote. But it is not going to happen, nor is anything like it, even in my children's lifetimes.
The question facing Europeans is therefore this. Not to forge an ever closer union in which, for all the EU's successes, the word forge seems unhappily to be increasingly appropriate. But how to manage the now foreseeable breakup of the EU in a responsible and restrained way, preserving and strengthening such forms of co-operation as we can. The goal would be to minimise the dangers of war between states, ethnic conflict within them, and immiseration of the most defenceless: all more real dangers in the next generation than the last. But that, ironically, was why the EU was created in the first place.