The topic of solving the EU refugee crisis is a sensitive and delicate issue. Monetary and policy frameworks suggested by different factions have their pros and cons. No approach seems sustainable, with some factions arguing that it would take more than money.
The Syrian conflict is central to the escalation of the refugees fleeing problem in Europe. Thousands flee the country to escape war and poverty. Pressure on European countries to accommodate them is immense and no one seems to know what a lasting solution to the problem is.
For Europe, turning its back on refugees is not an option. Desperate people displaced by war and conflict will continue seeking the elusive safety and hope.
Absorbing the inflow of refugees is not a complete option either. Questions must be answered in relation to what would happen if other countries were to explode the way Syria did. In addition, developing countries that have shown no inclination to accept refugees are in no practical state to receive them.
One only needs to look at the criticism and support of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel’s decision to accept a million refugees received to understand the divisions that exist in relation to the problem.
A number of proposal to solving the European refugee crisis exist, among them:
- Doing nothing, an outcome of the initial divisions following proposals to share refugees. Most countries renegaded after realizing the number of refugees almost tripled.
- Introduction of quotas.
- Military action against smugglers of refugees to Europe.
- Resettling refugees directly in camps around Syria.
- Bring peace to Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Eritrea.
- Support to Turkey and Greece
A detailed description of the proposals and other options can be found here.
Most of the above proposals fit the description of border control. Amnesty International noted that governments spend billions of dollars on border control rather than seeking an alternative to save people from dying.
Solving the problem faces the challenge of a broken system, which is responsible for over 21 million people seeking sanctuary abroad. The world’s eyes are on the EU. So far, the EU approach fails to meet standards. The problem cannot be put off anymore – urgent action is necessary.
The EU must explore the European asylum, refugee and migration policy founded on the principle of solidarity and shared values of humanity to bring the world to the table.
Critical factors that need urgent addressing include:
- Ensuring humane conditions prevail throughout the EU whenever there is receipt of refugees – EU-standards for member states are needed.
- Guarantee of a common EU code of asylum that makes it valid throughout the region to ensure stable conditions for receiving refuges across member states.
- Fair refugee distribution policies that encourage solidarity efforts to integrate them into the society.
- A common borders management approach that is not limited to securing frontiers, but encourages responsibility in registration and care of new arrivals.
- Provision of immediate assistance to EU countries under pressure from the high influx of refugees through practical and financial help.
- Address the issue of the Mediterranean Sea is being “a mass grave” for refugees trying to reach Europe. The launch of concerted marine rescue efforts and consolidating them is necessary to redeem Europe’s declining humanitarian legacy.
- Set parameters to ensure those who are not entitled to asylum eventually return to their countries of origin. Readmission and relations with countries of origin and thus paramount.
- A broad understanding of the countries considered safe to return people to. This may need an invitation to countries of the Balkans to join the EU raise the accession community.
- Prudent, controlled immigration acts that address stays for purposes of employment throughout the region.
- New political initiative to address the root causes of flight in the countries of origin in the Middle East and Africa.
While EU may bear the largest brunt of the crisis, countries around the world can learn from it by participating to assist in ending the crisis. Nevertheless, however, practical measures employed are, the crisis is unlikely to end any time soon. Instability in the countries of origin must be resolved.