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The root causes of migration need to be addressed

EU leaders agreed on Wednesday to bolster their borders and increase aid to refugee agencies burdened with helping millions of people displaced by the war in Syria. The commitment to devote at least $1.1 billion to fend off an escalating flow of refugees was a sign that the one thing member states could agree on was to keep people far from their borders. “It is clear that the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. Therefore we need to correct the policy of open doors and windows,” European Council President Donald Tusk is quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

As to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she warned that the scheme to redistribute 120,000 refugees around the EU must go much further, saying: “I am deeply convinced that what Europe needs is not just selective relocation of this kind, but a much more durable process for fairly distributing refugees among member states,” sources such as The Daily Telegraph report.Angela Merkel highlighted that the root causes of migration need to be addressed, German and Austrian media such as FAZ and ORF2stress, and that a permanent solution to the redistribution of refugees needs to be found.

Ms Merkel, European media report, notably stressed that the refugee crisis is a global challenge which requires involvement from the US and Russia. Germany, The Wall Street Journal Europe stresses, insists that refugees can’t choose where they want to settle, but this hardly reflects reality on the ground. In an analysis article entitled “Migrants move faster than EU,” the US newspaper claims that most migrants are deciding themselves where in Europe they want to head and apply for asylum – and much more quickly than officials have been able to decide what to do with them.

If we do not take the right measures to tackle the refugee crisis in Europe, this will lead to a wave of radical rightist extremism throughout the continent, First EC Vice-President Frans Timmermans warned yesterday in an interview with BBC Radio 4 garnering media coverage elsewhere in Europe today. Mr Timmermans also gave separate interviews to El País and La Stampa. The European Commission’s idea of migrant hotspots has drawn a wary response from Greek and Italian officials who are concerned that they will be forced to create sprawling refugee camps, The Financial Times reports. “To be frank with you, I don’t know who invented this term, but it’s a mess. I’ve been trying for more than five months to explain what this hotspot is, really”, former Greek government minister and now European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos is quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Amid all the whole debate on whether or how to address the root causes of migration, the dispute between Croatia and Serbia over border crossings worsened on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal Europe reports. Austria, the US newspaper adds, also announced it was sending back asylum seekers to other EU countries. What is more, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban arouses much criticism in today’s media. “Hungary: The shame of Europe,” a Libération headline reads, the French newspaper speaking of growing opposition to Viktor Orban in Europe.

In an interview with L’Opinion, EPP MEP and former European Commissioner Viviane Reding actually denounces Viktor Orban’s “denial of the fundamentals of the European project,”while Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, stresses, in an interview with Libération, that Mr Orban’s reaction is not in line with European values. Mr Verhofstadt regrets the EPP’s support to Viktor Orban and states that the Parliamentary Group has “little regard” for those who joins its ranks as long as it secures its strength at the European Parliament. He hopes that the EPP will heed its principles and exclude Mr Orban but fears that, as usual, power may prevail.



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