The European Union should be more understanding of the positions of the Central European countries, Ursula von der Leyen, recently elected President of the European Commission told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.
“It is important that we have objective debates,” von der Leyen said. “Many in the Central and Eastern European countries feel that they are not being completely accepted. If we continue with the sharp debates we have today in order to correct particular shortcomings, we risk alienating entire nations and countries.”
In regard to migration, von der Leyen stressed the importance of protecting the EU’s external borders.
“We must have secure external borders and we have to comply with the Dublin refugee regulation to ensure the functionality of the Schengen area and so that internal borders can remain open,” she said, adding that she envisions a European Union that is “open to the world, strong and capable of action.”
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