EU Response to the Migration Crisis: Too Little, But Not Too Late
As it faces mounting criticism over its lacklustre response to the migration emergency in the Mediterranean, the EU needs a plan to address causes as well as symptoms of the crisis.
The causes of the migration crisis in the Mediterranean are multiple and complex. Rather than just attempting to alleviate its symptoms, the EU must address them to protect migrants, safeguard the Schengen zone and act as a force for good in the world. Large flows of refugees and economic migrants who are unable to enter the EU through regular routes seek the help of people smugglers to enter the EU. Smugglers have been able to operate with impunity in the wake of Libyan state collapse and operate dangerous routes and dangerous practices of travel. Incoherent EU policies on Schengen solidarity and refugee resettlement have lead to a muddled and ineffective response, which is informed by xenophobic discourse and is an insult to the EU’s history and values. Failure to establish offshore asylum-processing and inadequate Search and Rescue (SAR) efforts have compounded the situation. After a disappointing first response, the EU needs to formulate short, medium and long term plans to address the causes of the crisis...(Benjamin Tallis)