European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker underlined a need for greater solidarity from EU Member States to Greece and Italy to address the consequences of the refugee crisis, during his speech in Florence, Italy.
The President of the Commission noted that he understood that solidarity could not be something that could emerge from one moment to the next and that it would need to be built gradually. However, he warned that crises undermined the EU and lead to a rise of populism and nationalism.
Mr Juncker clarified that solidarity was not only confined to the refugee crisis, but also to the economy, pointing to both the financial support for states promoting structural economic reforms, as well as the reserves in the European budget for dealing with emergency situations. The EC President pointed to the doubling of the educational Erasmus programme as a sign of solidarity.