Brussels chose to mark Europe Day by publishing a video with a message from each of the bloc’s leaders. The EU27 each said what Europe means to them, with Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, highlighting that Europe stood for unity and solidarity. But the claim has received a backlash on social media, as people question whether the EU really are “all in it together”.
Mr Michel posted the video to his Twitter account, and wrote: “On #EuropeDay, let’s never forget… Europe is YOU, it’s US, it’s all of us TOGETHER. UNITY is what makes us stronger.”
The video has also been posted to the EU’s official website and shows each of the EU27 giving a short message of what Europe means to them.
But the video has received a backlash on social media, as users scoffed at the idea of European solidarity.
One person wrote: “Excuse me, but this seemes like a surreal freakshow… Only rhetoric.
“Ask the refugees in Greece what they think about european solidarity!
“Only peace is a good and important point they made.
“But Europe has to be more than that!”
The user, whose Twitter profile appears to show he is a German national, suggests the EU’s response to the refugee crisis in Greece purports the opposite of unity.
In 2015 Greece became overcome by migrants attempting to enter Europe, following Turkey’s decision to “open” its European borders.
Almost one million people attempted to make the trip, overwhelming Greek authorities.
The EU was criticised for being slow to assist Greece during the crisis, with some member states urging for a single European policy on asylum.
But Brussels later agreed a joint response to the crisis and brokered a deal with Turkey – whereby Turkey would stop allowing migrants to reach the EU in return for funds from the bloc to help it manage the huge numbers of refugees it hosts.
But at the start of the coronavirus pandemic Turkey defaulted on its agreement, resulting in hundreds of migrants attempting to reach Europe.
The EU has accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of using migrants for political purposes, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised Greece for being Europe’s “shield” – which caused huge controversy from humanitarian organisations.
Other social media users mocked the idea of European unity, evidencing the EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
They wrote: “Agreed ask the Italians or Spanish.