We have currently been analysing and questioning the difficulties faced in the EU: the future of current EU member states and those trying to be part of the EU (such as Turkey), as well as the handling of migrants and refugees. Europe is facing many difficulties, that could potentially escalate to a disintegration, rather than a well-founded integration; which is what the EU strives to support from the very beginning. There is also a huge apparent detachment between citizens and elites.
Europe is most certainly going through a difficult phase and is in need of change- and new improved measures.
As Mario Monti, Former Prime Minister of Italy recently stated in a speech: “The EU has a double duty to overcome problems in the last few years”.
Problems are seen at the economic level such as unemployment levels, as well as migration wise, which means that further economic success is needed: “The combination of the two has led to disintegration through separation, and detachments between Europeans- what used to be known as the EU” he says.
Furthermore, Greece might be leaving the Eurozone, and the UK will decide this coming June whether it wishes to stay or leave the EU.
Democratic Deficit- one of the main issues in Europe
Schengen borders are increasingly being closed to prevent migrants from entering. Slovenian authorities for instance have recently closed their borders. This leads us to ask how much of a free movement is there really in Europe still? What is certain is that, properly exercised EU controls of sea frontiers are much needed.
“Displacement is not a European phenomenon but a global phenomenon” according to Peter Mauer, (Head of ICRC in Geneva, one of the most important field based organisations). “People’s rights are being deliberately violated”. Meaning that vulnerabilities of people need to be addressed- status and law are important, but often being ignored.
What is often being ignored, or not being spoken enough in the media, is the journey migrants are taking, which is often worse than their arrival, where a lot of trafficking and smuggling goes around on boat journeys.
“We are obsessed about the European crisis”
Europe is deliberating on what to do- and there is a huge lack of solutions. Financial problems are at stake: huge amounts of money may not be able to be used for other crises in the future. Iraq for example is full of displaced people, but hugely under-financed at the same time.
What international organisations need to start doing is help states manage problems through main actors. But it is very difficult and the burden is unequally shared in Europe- and there is a need to find new shores and solve conflicts that are causing the exiting of people, according to Filippo Grandi, the High Commissioner for Refugees.
On the Syrian refugee crisis: neighbouring countries are facing minimal resources
A lot of social services are degrading in many parts of Syria. And it is not just civilians who are suffering, but systems are falling apart, which is hugely impacting on the conflict.
“We must recognise that not all refugees will move to all third countries” says Mauer. “A reality that refugees need to know”. On the counterpart- UN agencies need help of states.
As Filippo Grandi claimed in a speech this week: “being a refugee is a vulnerability. And refugees being characterised as a threat… this is hugely politicised”.