BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany needs to be tougher in the refugee crisis and do more to help secure Europe’s external borders, European Council President Donald Tusk said ahead of a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.
While Tusk praised Germany’s leadership role as the most liberal and tolerant in European history, he urged Berlin to do more to get the current situation under control.
“Leadership responsibility also means securing Europe’s external borders together with other member states,” Tusk told Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper.
“I understand why due to historical reasons, Germany may have difficulty setting up a strict regime on its borders. But for Germany, European leadership responsibility also means controlling Europe’s external borders if necessary energetically in a pan-European unit.”
Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, has repeatedly stressed the urgency of tightening Europe’s borders, while Merkel has pushed for states to show “solidarity” and share responsibilities for refugees.
In October, Tusk rebuked fellow European leaders by calling arguments over how to accommodate refugees “naive” as long as Europe fails to stop them surging over its borders.
Tusk is due to dine with Merkel on Sunday in Berlin ahead of an EU-Africa summit in Malta on Wednesday and EU leaders meeting on refugees on Thursday.
Reporting by Caroline Copley, editing by William Hardy