EU migrant crisis: Germany, France and UK to show the way. Will the rest of the EU follow?

Visit by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship to Austria. Dimitris Avramopoulos visits a medical station at the refugee camp in Traiskirchen.

Visit by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship to Austria. Dimitris Avramopoulos visits a medical station at the refugee camp in Traiskirchen. (EC Audiovisual Services, 07/09/2015)

The recent migrant crisis keeps on plaguing Europe and our good EU leaders and officials strive to find solutions to tackle it. Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission (EC), will present today his plans for sharing asylum seekers among the 28 EU countries.  It will be a crucial day for Juncker’s Commission because it will be extremely difficult to persuade all EU member states to implement a common policy; something that has been proven in the recent past regarding the dispersion of 40.000 immigrants across the EU.

The biggest EU economies have agreed to contribute to the confrontation of this issue. Germany, as Europe’s moving force, seems to be determined to take in more asylum refugees while France and the United Kingdom (UK) are following the same footsteps. More specifically, Francois Hollande has stated that his country will receive 24.000 immigrants in the next two years and the UK premier committed to the British parliament to resettle 20.000 people from camps which are bordering Syria in the next 5 years.

The aforementioned pledges reveal that some of the EU countries are ready to fight the unprecedented dimensions of this problem with the hope that will drag more EU countries down this road. However, it seems that the EU officials have understood well that the solution of this crisis will just not be a piece of cake and that it demands everyone’s commitment and will.

EC’s migration plan

Today, the “State of the Union” is taking place in Strasbourg. It is an annual event with high importance since Europe is undertaking multiple crises. The President of the EC is anticipated to cover the following four topics in his speech: the EC’s legislative priorities for 2016, the EU migration crisis, Europe’s budget for the next seven years and endeavors on how to strengthen the European economy.

Jean-Claude Juncker looks determined to fight this scourge and it is more likely to present a plan that will force EU counties to accept a greater amount of asylum seekers compared to the 40.000 people that was proposed by the EC a few months ago. This time the number is about to reach 160.000 refugees coming from Italy, Greece and Hungary; three times more than before. Furthermore, the financial incentive that the EC will provide to the country accepting refugees will be 6.000 euros per person.

Although it appears to be extremely difficult to be reached, everyone should contribute adequately and proportionally to its size, otherwise the problem will continue perpetuating.

Germany, UK and France are there

The biggest EU economy is going to provide housing, language courses and enhanced security to thousands of asylum seekers who are entering the country through an investment scheme of 5.89 billion euros. Also, Germany accepted thousands of people during last weekend when they were left unhelped by the Hungarian government which is highly hostile towards refugees and has received world criticism for that.

Nonetheless, Angela Merkel stated once more that the rest of EU countries must do their part in this crisis. More specifically, the German chancellor mentioned: “Germany is a country willing to take people in, but refugees can be received in all countries of the European Union in such a way that they can find refuge from civil war and from persecution”.

France, following the lead of Germany, announced its plan to receive 24.000 migrants who are escaping war conditions over the next two years. The President of France has agreed with Angela Merkel that the only way to tackle migration is through an equal distribution of refugees coming from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

Last but not least, the UK promises to resettle 20.000 Syrian refugees till 2020. This was confirmed by David Cameron to the British Parliament last Monday as UK’s moral responsibility towards those people.  Priority will be given to children and orphans. The British Prime Minister said to the Commons: “We will continue to show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion, always standing up for our values and helping those in need.”

EU should exit this crisis united

This year’s measures to address the migration issue have showed that it is a very harsh fight which keeps on growing rapidly and many countries are unwilling or cannot help to tackle it. Despite the hitches that arise, it is of great importance that each and every EU member state remembers the true European ideals and values welcoming refugees through cooperation and compassion.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

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