S&D MEPs call for a flexible application of budgetary rules for refugee-hosting countries

S&D MEPs call for a flexible application of budgetary rules for refugee-hosting countries, Gianni Pittella, François Hollande, Turkey, Summit of Heads of State and Government of La Valette, EU-Africa partnership,

Today, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group, Gianni Pittella, met the French president François Hollande in Paris.

Following the meeting, Gianni Pittella announced:

"We had a fruitful exchange during which we reviewed several European matters. I told the French president that the Socialists and Democrats want a flexible application of European budgetary rules for countries directly affected by the influx of refugees. The expenses linked to the hosting of refugees should not be taken into account in the public deficit calculations for the 2016 budgets.

"President Hollande was positive and open to the necessary flexibility in this regard.

"We talked about the role of Turkey. We agreed on Turkey's essential role to play in controlling the influx of refugees towards Europe. However, Europe's support is not necessarily a blank cheque. Turkey must continue its progress towards democracy and respect for human rights.

"We have insisted on how important it is for the next Summit of Heads of State and Government of La Valette to deliver in terms of a real EU-Africa partnership. Above all, we must reach a win-win economic and political partnership between Europeans and Africans."