Public Affairs Networking
31/08 Migration crisis continues to dominate headlines

Most member states media continue their coverage on the migrant crisis in the European Union. The Interior Ministers of France, Germany and the UK, meeting in Paris with the rest of their European counterparts to discuss train security measures, made a joint statement on Sunday focusing on the migration crisis, as reported by The Guardian. Many other media in most countries, such as Teleexpress in Poland, La 7, Tg3 and Corriere della Sera in Italy and Le Figaro in France also comment on the news, adding that the European Commission has set a meeting for 14 September.

According to Portugal’s Diário de Notícias, Spanish and German newspapers are revealing details about a European Commission’s plan to tackle the migrant crisis, which would include the Commission giving more money to African countries if they quickly take back the immigrants who have had their asylum requests denied. Bild Zeitung includes an article scathingly critical of both Jean-Claude Juncker’s and Donald Tusk’s relative silence on the matter compared with the Greek crisis, where Juncker “was involved on a daily basis”, concluding that such behaviour “is sending out a catastrophic message”.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz talked in an interview with Die Welt and maintained that the Mediterranean Sea is being turned into a “mass grave” while “gruesome scenes” are being played out at the EU border. He blamed this to a “glaring failure” of some European governments to take in refugees, and not the EU as a whole. CYBC TV in Cyprus broadcast excerpts from a Euronews interview with European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, during which he reached similar conclusions to Schulz’s. Avramopoulos stressed that no country can hope to solve the problem on its own, adding that dealing with the issue is a joint responsibility of EU member states.

Aamulehti in Finland writes that Prime Minister Juha Sipilä wants stricter actions from the European Union, saying that the Syrian crisis has not been handled well and the EU and UN have been powerless because east-west relations are so poor. Some articles comment on the inability of Greece to take in the flood of immigrants at its borders, such as The Wall Street Journal Europe stating that volunteers are often all that prevents complete chaos on the islands that bear the brunt of the migration, while a few more comment on the completion of the barbed wire fence between Hungary and Serbia.

Eesti Päevaleht in Estonia writes about the bleak situation near the Hungarian border where hundreds, even thousands, of border-crossers are being processed. Another one of the topics is the on-going investigation for the death of 71 immigrants in a truck in Austria. Sega Daily in Bulgaria reports on the arrest of three Bulgarians in Hungary in relation to the event, an information also shared by The Wall Street Journal Europe and Der Standard, which adds that it is uncertain they will be extradited to Austria.

The Washington Post Sunday adds the comments of the Europol director, who links the deaths to a vast international syndicate that has already been a subject of multiple criminal investigations, and says they are “working urgently” to catch the leaders of the operation. An editorial piece in the Salzburger Nachrichten states the tragedy shines a light on major shortcomings of society, politics, and the European Union.

China Daily publishes an alarmist article, saying that China has a lesson to learn from Europe’s migration situation, since the same situation could be happening to it in the future. It encourages helping neighbouring countries establish stable societies to prevent large-sale refugee overflows.




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