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Asselborn: 'The European Union can break apart'

Brandon Conradis
November 9, 2015

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has said the EU might "break apart" under the strain of the migrant crisis. His words come as politicians find themselves at odds over how to deal with the crisis.

Jean Asselborn
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Warnand

Asselborn said on Monday the EU might be heading toward a collapse, as member states struggle to cope with the influx of refugees trying to reach Europe.

"The European Union can break apart," he said in an interview with the German news agency DPA. "This can happen incredibly fast if the rule becomes to shut people out, both internally and externally, instead of maintaining solidarity." His comments refer to the decision made by some member states to implement stricter controls along their borders, thereby forcing other countries to take on more of the burden of the refugee crisis.

The politician said it was possible member states would start shutting down borders completely, thereby putting an end to the Schengen free-travel zone that has been one of the defining freedoms offered to citizens of the EU.

'Critical situation'

"We have perhaps only a few months time (before this happens)," Asselborn warned.

He said while most member states have understood the importance of helping refugees, some member states "have not properly internalized the values of the EU, which are not just material values" - a veiled reference to countries like Hungary, which recently built a fence along its border to keep migrants out.

The EU is in a "very, very critical situation," he said.

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