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The Brief: ‘Flexible solidarity’ is Europe à la carte

The Brief: ‘Flexible solidarity’ is Europe à la carte

The Brief is's evening newsletter.


Crack open the champagne. Not to celebrate the first ever edition of The Brief. Instead, salute the birth of ‘flexible solidarity’ – the latest, ghastliest example of EU indecision and doublespeak.
Flexible solidarity – an oxymoron as glaring as ‘military intelligence’ – means countries can pick and choose when to stand together. Another translation? We will bend over backwards to keep migrants out of our country.
Flexible solidarity is the Visegrad countries’ alternative to the mandatory quota for re-homing refugees across the EU that the Commission has championed, at least until now.
While Visegrad leaders vow there can be no Europe à la carte on the free movement of EU citizens, that’s exactly what they want on the movement of migrants.
During last week’s State of the Union speech, Juncker admitted solidarity had to come from the heart, that it had to be voluntary.
Language matters when the EU talks refugees – just ask Angela Merkel and the AFD.
Some migrants are more equal than others.  An ‘irregular’ or ‘economic’ migrant can expect harsher treatment than one “asking for international protection”.
At the European Commission, where officials dance around the legalities of its dodgy deal with Turkey, migrants are never ‘deported’, they are only ‘returned’.
The executive today denied flexible solidarity was Europe à la carte, but Juncker’s speech has opened the door to the Visegrad countries.
Now they will do their best to lock it shut behind them.
This Brief is powered by Burson-Marsteller.

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