EU commissioner: Central Europe happy to accept EU money, but reluctant to help with refugee crisis

Eu Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis
AFP/Scanpix

The health commissioner on Thursday expressed surprise over what he says is a major lack of solidarity in Central and Eastern European countries that joined the EU during its last expansion.

“It’s not only Lithuania’s position. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Visegrad countries. It’s surprising that those countries that joined the EU the last are demonstrating a lack of solidarity. When they need additional money for fighting swine fever, they call Brussels. But when people are dying and the Mediterranean Sea is turning into a graveyard, then there’s no solidarity,” Andriukaitis told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday morning. “Where’s that solidarity? Where’s that realization that the EU is a single unit with shared problems?”

He underlined that the EU would offer financial assistance to member states in solving refugee problems.

The European Commission has recently proposed moving 207 refugees to Lithuania in a move to resolve the Mediterranean refugee crisis. The Baltic country would be also expected to examine over the course of two years 503 asylum applications that are currently mostly handled by Greece and Italy.

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