Hollande: Border Protection, Security, Economic Growth EU Priorities

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French President Francois Hollande arriving to Bratislava Castle (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 16 (TASR) – Protecting EU borders, security, economic development and the future of youth are the priorities that must be tackled by the European Union, stated French President Francois Hollande after the informal summit of 27 EU leaders held at Bratislava Castle on Friday.

Hollande, along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have named this list of priorities that will predetermine the EU agenda for the next months – the Bratislava Programme.

Hollande called for strengthening the protection of the EU’s external borders. In the future he wants to achieve a controlled influx of migrants, but at the same time he wants to provide assistance to those who are entitled to asylum.

Moreover, he promised more help for the member states that are affected the most by migrant flows – notably Greece, Italy and Hungary.

Regarding security, the French president appealed to the European leaders to realise their responsibility and strengthen the fight against terrorism. He also wants to find new tools that will allow to do so more efficiently. In this context, Hollande mentioned a German-French proposal on security cooperation and invited other countries to join the initiative.

Among other things, Hollande expressed his support for employment policy, the knowledge economy and modern technologies.  Along with Merkel, he noted that these priorities are fully in line with the theses of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who earlier this week presented his vision of the EU future.

The French head of state also admitted that the EU leaders didn’t avoid unpleasant topics during Friday’s meeting. The often criticised migration agreement with Turkey, the impact of wars in the Middle East on the migration crisis, the rise in popularity of populist and anti-systemic parties and the issue of European security cooperation at a time when the United Kingdom is leaving the Union were also on the agenda.

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