Immigrants must accept 'European values'
16.06.2006 – 09:42 CET | By Lucia Kubosova
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS – EU leaders have agreed they must find some common principles on how to tackle immigration, with Austrian chancellor Wolfgang Schussel stressing that immigrants must accept some European values if they want to settle in the continent.
“It is very important for somebody who is coming to our countries to learn the language and sign up to the values, the human rights, the position of women, the rule of law. There is no compromise on this,” Mr Schussel told journalists on Thursday (15 June) at the EU summit in Brussels.
While some leaders stressed the need to boost integration of immigrants without creating a negative impression concerning people's religion or identity, Spain and Malta pointed to the increasing number of illegal immigrants ending up on their territory.
French president Jacques Chirac indicated the EU must improve its cooperation with African states on the issue, and try to help them solve the roots of the illegal immigration.
Some EU politicians took the fact that immigration had been debated at EU leader level as a sign of the increasing political importance of the issue.
“It has been pretty clear that this problem is becoming one of the major subjects the EU will have to deal with in future. Without suggesting any concrete new projects, we agreed that we need some basic common principles on how to face this challenge,” said Slovak foreign minister Eduard Kukan.
The European Commission is planning to table some fresh proposals on illegal immigration in July, including a plan for rapid border intervention teams and a list of safe countries – from which the EU will not accept asylum seekers.
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