Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

The whole world anticipates now more actions that talks by Mr Avramopoulos on the imminent EU Immigration crisis. The Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship is here in a press conference at the European Commission last month (EC Audiovisual Services, 04/03/2015)

The whole world anticipates now more actions than talks by Mr Avramopoulos on the imminent EU migration crisis. The Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship is here in a press conference at the European Commission last month (EC Audiovisual Services, 04/03/2015)

The European Union is once more hit by migration. Last Sunday, around 800 illegal immigrants are believed to have died when their ship sank on the way from the Libyan coast to the Italian Island of Lampedusa.

As a result, the EU foreign and interior ministers gathered in Luxembourg earlier this week to discuss about the migration crisis that plagues Europe and provide possible solutions. The outcome of this meeting was an action plan of 10 proposals that would tackle the aforementioned crisis. The big question, certainly here, is why do thousands of people need to be sacrificed for Brussels to wake up?

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi touched by the recent tragedy within Italy’s borders requested for an extraordinary summit to be held in order to draw the attention of all EU member states. And indeed, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council (EC) answered positively and called the EU leaders to meet tomorrow Thursday in Brussels. Finally it is high time now for the EU to decide how to react on this issue that is certainly affecting the bloc as a whole; not solely countries such as Italy, Spain and Greece, as the European north would wish.

It is evident that the political will of the Northern countries to respond to this call has not been till now as decisive as it should be. Call it the awful unfriendly weather, or the manic focus on profitable productivity, the Northern Europeans more than often eat dinner on a small plate. In this plate EU issues that can be localised or are not directly included in a Profit and Loss statement, cannot and should not fit. But how on earth can you turn a blind eye on such a EU complex humanitarian issue like migration?

Mediterranean migration in figures

Migration was and still is a EU problem and to a second extent a Mediterranean one. The recent tragedy last weekend is claimed to be the deadliest incident that the EU has ever faced in its migration history according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Consequently, this year’s victims have immensely increased by the 800 deaths of the illegal immigrants reaching almost 1750 in only 4 months. This is allegedly 30 times higher than the same period of 2014 according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

These increasing migration numbers bluntly reveal that something is very wrong with the EU migration policy and the EU must act “yesterday”.

Time for action

Last sunday’s incident is not the first to happen in the Mediterranean but we only hope to be the one that will motivate the EU leaders enough to act now and minimise the lethal causes of this immense panEuropean crisis.

One of the reasons could be the sudden shutdown of Mare Nostrum which operated before over the Mediterranean in a 24-hour basis and especially in the Sicily Strait. Its successor, Triton, with much less funds and with a focus only on patrolling within 30 nautical miles of the Italian cost is obviously inadequate to face this bursting crisis and needs immediate reinforcement. The European Sting had already underlined this huge EU hole last November.

Let’s face it; it was partly the bad call of the EU to pull back Mare Nostrum that cost the lives of hundreds of people. Further, the recent agreement on the implementation of a 10-proposals action plan on migration clearly shows that the EU officials have understood their mistake since they propose to provide more funds to Triton in order to be able to patrol wider areas in the Mediterranean. Finally! But can’t Brussels be proactive with the migration policy like in many other matters where it is a world champion, like climate change?

Mediterranean to show the way

Italy alone surely cannot eliminate this huge European crisis. The rest EU member states have to stand by and help by all means in this effort for a better Europe and world. Particularly, countries such as Germany should be more aware and provide extra financial support. The reason is that by doing so, the by far largest European economy will be positively influenced by seeing its national migration numbers reduce dramatically. This crisis is affecting everyone; either directly or indirectly; either they want it or not.

A permanent solution

Sadly, the proposed actions of the EU in the migration crisis do not touch the core of the matter. The solution must be investigated in the real cause which is mainly the economic and political crisis that forces those people to migrate in the first place. Thus, a more direct aid to those countries (e.g. Syria) will be the cornerstone of a more permanent and solid solution.

If the EU invests on finding a way to reduce the consequences of that crisis, then those people would not need to flee. In practice something like this is of course very difficult and that is why migration keeps on hurting the Old Continent more and more. Besides, it has less political cost to invest on a EU environmental policy than a migration one, doesn’t it?

No excuses

Easier said than done? When hundreds of migrants pass from the Turkish shores to the Greek islands every day, in a EU member state that is economically ravaged and truly unable to host them and take all necessary steps, then political chitchats are redundant. When members of the Greek government comment on the matter saying the unspeakable, that the migrants only gather in the central squares of Athens to happily enjoy the Greek sun, then Brussels needs to take action, because things are getting serious.

If at tomorrow’s Summit, some concrete and effective actions are not taken, then the migrants will soon start gathering at the central squares of the main European capitals, only that there there will be no “sun to enjoy”. And the local authorities cannot treat them like they usually treat stray dogs. Those are human beings that we are talking about here!

All in all, the EU migration issue cannot be solved from Schumann square in Brussels. It requires incredible field work and we need to see if Commissioner Avramopoulos and his colleagues will receive the clear support and mandate they need to take imminent strategic action.

The solution of the matter clearly cannot be localised in the Southern Europe but will have to be centralised, either Brussels wants it or not.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

We must help developing countries escape commodity dependence

EU Commission accuses Germany of obstructing growth and the banking union

Social, cultural diversity ‘an enormous richness, not a threat’ Guterres declares calling on investment for a harmonious future

Venezuela migrant crisis begs a ‘coherent, predictable and harmonized’ response: UNHCR

Accountability for atrocities in Myanmar ‘cannot be expected’ within its borders – UN investigator

Backed by UN agency, countries set to take on deadly livestock-killing disease

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

How to stop plastic pollution at source

World must avoid a new Cold War, UN chief tells economic forum in Russia

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

Baku forum to push back against ‘rise of hate’ with strong call for cultural and religious tolerance, says UN official

Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy, during a recent press conference in Brussels / Berlaymont. (Copyright: EU, 2018 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart)

EU opens investigation into Qatar Petroleum over potentially restrictive gas contracts

Grexit no longer a threat but how to manage a “tutti frutti” government if not with fear?

More than 3,400 classrooms damaged or destroyed by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, says UN Children’s Fund

Is it true that the G20 wants to arrest tax evasion of multinationals?

DR Congo: Insecurity and attacks mean Ebola will keep spreading, warns world health agency

Commerce is on the cusp of radical change. Is your organization ready?

Elections in Europe: No risks for the EU, leaders readying to face Trump-Brexit

An economist explains how to value the internet

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

This is what the world’s CEOs really think of AI

Commissioner sings “Volar-e” but the European driver no “Cantar-e”

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

Draghi drafts a plan to donate more money to bankers, the era of ‘money for nothin’ is flourishing

Cancer is a growing global threat and prevention is key, UN study shows

6 facts to know about EU alternative investment funds

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

Hopes for Palestinian State hit by ‘facts on the ground’ : senior UN official

European Commission reacts to the US restrictions on steel and aluminium affecting the EU

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

Eritrea sanctions lifted amid growing rapprochement with Ethiopia: Security Council

Big world banks to pay $ 4.95bn for cheating customers; Is it a punishment or a gentle caress?

“We need to use the momentum globally to ensure that corporations pay their fare share of taxation”, EU Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis outlines from the World Economic Forum 2017.

93 million children with disabilities ‘among the most likely to be left behind’: UN rights chief

Education remains an impossible dream for many refugees and migrants

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Did Draghi ask the Germans to accept a drastic change of austerity policies?

More funding needed to tackle child labour in agriculture says UN, marking World Day

Would you let an AI vote for you?

This crisis cannot be confronted with statistics

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

Who is to pay the dearest price in a global slowdown?

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: Innovation across borders – mobilising national R&D funds for transnational innovation in Europe

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

We can save the Earth. Here’s how

School closures triple in Central and Western Africa as education comes under fire

This Japanese company pays its employees to get a good night’s sleep

5G in Russia: a local and global view on the way forward, in association with The European Sting

Three steps we must take to secure the future of our forests

These are the top countries for travel and tourism in 2019

“We have to do a better job of creating alternatives to violent extremism”, US Secretary of State John Kerry from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

More Stings?