Today, victims fleeing civil war in Syria
and brutal government repression in countries like Eritrea
are not being shown the same consideration.
The European Union was conceived as an
instrument of solidarity and cooperation. The plight of
asylum seekers today exposes how these values are being
eroded. By failing to help the refugees, this political
union that I believed to be the embodiment of an open
society is failing before our very eyes.
The lack of a unified European policy
towards asylum and migration has allowed member states to
act selfishly and irresponsibly. Frontline countries like
Greece and Italy are neglecting to provide adequate
reception and asylum processing, while others, like Hungary,
are sealing their borders to keep out those in need.
The chaos created by this lack of
coordination has made the influx of refugees seem like an
intractable problem. It has precipitated panic and steered
public opinion against the refugees - so much so that we
risk forgetting that the refugees are the victims here. The
EU needs to accept responsibility for the political crisis
caused by the lack of a common policy and vision.
The current patchwork of 28 separate
asylum systems does not work - it produces inconsistent
results in determining who qualifies for asylum and who does
not. To respond to the crisis, Europe needs a fair and
comprehensive plan. It’s time for the EU to bring back the
generous, collective spirit it was founded upon - one that
reflects the European values set forth over half a century