Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

WOW: Martin Schulz here disembarks the luxurious Greek LearJet and is about to witness LIVE one single wrecked boat packed with refugees at the port of Lesvos islands in the Aegean sea. Behind him Alexis Tsipras, the young Greek Premier who is delighted to give Schulz a ride to the sunny islands (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 05/11/2015)

WOW: Martin Schulz here disembarks the luxurious Greek Learjet and is about to witness LIVE one single wrecked boat packed with refugees at the port of Lesvos island in the Aegean sea. Behind him Alexis Tsipras, the young Greek Premier who is delighted to give Mr Schulz a ride to the sunny islands. Mr Martin Schulz is the President of the European Parliament. (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 05/11/2015)

Last Monday’s Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council was meant to give just an update on the ongoing refugee crisis, a few days before the summit between EU and African leaders which in Valletta, Malta today and tomorrow. The Interior Ministers convened thus to discuss about the progress shown so far since the Western Balkans’ route summit where a 17-point plan was proposed to address this issue.

However, despite the progress that was admitted to be made by the EU member states, there is a lot of work to be done in order to at least restrict the migration crisis to satisfactory levels. The purpose of the Valletta summit is to enhance the cooperation and partnerships between the EU and African countries leading to the discovery of solutions which are of common interest.

EU seeks African support

The EU now intends to put African countries into the equation of the migration problem after having failed to do the same with Turkey. Good developed Europe, as always, is determined to trade financial aid for co-operation. By doing so, the old Continent has decided to fight the war conditions and poverty that prevail in Africa. This is the very root cause of this crisis urging people to flee in pursue of a better life.

But will this plan work and when? If this is put into action, whatever the outcome, it shows that the EU is certainly on the right track to alleviate the migration crisis by addressing its cause.  The remaining topics that will be discussed during the Malta summit are of importance too and focus on the organization of legal migration channels, protection of asylum seekers, reduction of the exploitation of migrants and intense cooperation between the two parties.

Schulz’s visit to Greece

It was last Thursday when Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, visited Lesbos, an Aegean Sea island which is close to the Greek-Turkish borders, in order to see the hotspot created in Moria to identify and register immigrants. Mr Schulz hailed the progress done so far by the Greeks but noted that more actions are required.

In addition, Alexis Tsipras and Martin Schulz witnessed a small plastic boat full of refugees coming towards the shores of Lesvos during their visit. This was just a minor proof of what is really happening in the Aegean Sea and probably the closest distance from misery that any top level EU politician is able to experience. The European Parliament’s president didn’t see the hundreds of thousands of refugees drowning on their way to the islands or surviving and living under miserable conditions, sleeping in tents across the coasts.

Merkel is determined

During this year, more than 744.000 refugees have fled to Europe. The worst part is that according to the UN Refugee Agency 218.000 have reached the EU within the last month which by far exceeds the total annual figure of 216.000 people who have escaped to the bloc in 2014. Further, this crisis seems to be worsening according to Commission’ s report published last week revealing that three million migrants are predicted to arrive in Europe by 2017.

Steady to her ideals, Angela Merkel is still determined to solve the refugee crisis whatever the political consequences in Germany. This time, the German Chancellor is about to point out to the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Antalya, Turkey on November 15-16 the significance of finding solutions and implementing them in a joint framework with the biggest economies of the world. The European Sting will be covering the G20 summit live from the International Media Center in Antalya, updating you about the news and deals of the leaders of the world in global migration policy, and not only that.

Canada pledges to join forces

Further, the immigration, refugees and citizenship Canadian minister said two days ago that the government will try to bring thousands of Syrian refugees to this country. More specifically, John McCallum mentioned during a news conference in Ottawa:  “Canadians can and must do more to help Syrian refugees who are desperately seeking safety. The new cabinet ad hoc committee is our first step towards Canada providing more Syrian refugees with the safe haven they so desperately need.”

The amount of refugees who are supposed to be accommodated is estimated to 25.000 people but Mr McCallum promised to announce an exact figure in the coming weeks, after organising their transportation. Canada must be emulated by other non-EU countries as well in order to be able to tackle this humanitarian crisis which is affecting everybody and not just Europe.

All in all, the migration crisis is still going to be the major, thorny issue of the European continent for a long time. It requires the EU politicians to stand up to the expectations; it requires EU leaders who not only discuss solutions but also implement them; it requires EU leaders to look beyond their micro-political interests; it requires EU member states who are not building high walls to deprive people of their right to live.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

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