How the European Commission should handle migrants

By Ashley Abadeer

A recent publication from Project Syndicate suggests a framework for the European Commission to adopt for issues regarding migration that can help gain control over the process while still bringing human dignity to migrants. To better address migration, Project Syndicate outlines the following four steps for the European Commission:

The first proposition is for the European Union to better secure its external borders by investing more in border and coastguard agencies. This is not to block out migrants but is instead functions as a prerequisite for maintaining the openness at the internal borders that exist in the Schengen area.

Second, the proposal suggests handling asylum-seeking migrants separate from economically based migrants. This places an emphasis on asylum seekers and hopes to address the deadly voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe that have already taken the lives of over 900 migrants just this year. Prior to this policy, countries would need to begin handling issues of migration through collective EU policies rather than individually as they do now.

Following this policy, the third step is for European countries to reform their asylum process. European countries must support other countries to bring safety to those seeking asylum in the countries that are at the frontline and where most migrants arrive.

Finally, the article highlights the importance of the EU developing stronger partnerships with countries of origin for migrants to work with those governments to not only build better conditions but can ensure safety for the migrants should asylum be denied. 

From this final step, the framework outlines the important role of European countries have to try to aid with the underlying causes of migration such as climate change, food conflicts, and civil wars. They conclude by highlighting how policies towards migration should not be “knee jerk reactions,” but should be defined by thoughtful and cohesive steps from the European Union.

You can read Claus Sørensen’s, a former director-general of the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, full article here

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