MEP laments 'bitter disappointment' of EU summit

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A senior MEP has criticised the recent summit of EU leaders as a "bitter disappointment" during a debate on 5 November 2013.

Green group leader Rebecca Harms was particularly critical of a lack of action to tackle problems with the EU's asylum and migration policies following the Lampedusa tragedy, in which hundreds of African migrants drowned.

"Why bother to put [Lampedusa] on the agenda if you can't find one single correction with our common asylum and migration policy?" she questioned.

The vice-president of the European Commission, Maros Sefcovic, said it was important to "find ways of reconciling humanitarian response with our security needs".

Meanwhile the European Council President, Herman van Rompuy, insisted that EU leaders "agreed that determined action should be taken to prevent further things happening again".

The European Council meeting took place last month in Brussels, and primarily focused on economic issues.

Mr Van Rompuy told MEPs the summit was proof that "we have left the existential crisis of the euro behind us and we can now devote our energy to consolidating short-term recovery."

The main area of debate at the summit was on the digital economy, such as improved access to high-speed broadband and a genuine single market in the telecommunications sector.

Mr Van Rompuy praised the summit for "allowing the EU to return to a leading position in digital innovation that we had 20 years ago and which we have since lost".

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The European Parliament's disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations can be found here.

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