Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – “Following pre-summit bilateral talks I’m quite optimistic and hope that unity and dialogue will prevail at the summit in Bratislava,” said European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz at a press conference during the informal EU summit in Bratislava on Friday.
Schulz called on EU leaders to show responsibility towards the European Union and to refrain from criticising it for decisions to which they themselves contributed. The EP president stressed that such criticism of Brussels at the national level is detrimental to the entire EU community, and he expects the summit in Bratislava to lead to closer cooperation between member states for the benefit of their citizens.
As for the migration crisis, Schulz said that if mandatory resettlement quotas for migrants fall by the wayside but an effective solution on a voluntary basis is found, he’ll lend his support to it. He described a Hungarian referendum on quotas, slated for October 2, as an unconstructive step that won’t resolve anything.
Regarding Brexit, Schulz pointed out that economic relations between Great Britain and the EU are mutually beneficial and that their disruption would be harmful for both sides. However, real talks on economic ties between Brussels and London can take place only after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is activated and the UK officially applies to leave the Union. Schulz isn’t willing to restrict fundamental European freedoms – the free movement of goods, services, people and capital – in a bargain aimed solely at preserving economic relations with London.