The is a variety of issues emerging and undoubtedly threatening the endurance and the limits of the European Union we live in. One of the most crucial issues testing the resistance of the European Union is the refugee crisis.
The number of people applying for asylum in the European Union more than doubled in 2015, reaching a record 1.26 million, according to the EU statistics agency. Syrians accounted for almost a third, with 362,775 people seeking shelter in Europe, followed by Afghans and Iraqis. Since September 2015, eight countries have reintroduced border checks, aimed at preventing large numbers of refugees and migrants entering. The huge influx of refugees in combination with the economic migrants passing from Turkey to Greece makes the latter suffering as Greece was found unready to manage this intricate development.
As the refugee crisis is getting day by day even larger dimensions, there is a split public opinion observed. As refugees are passing by the European borders, there is a group of countries, which seem extremely worried about their national security and therefore they close their borders and/or impose very strict border controls on people attempting to get in their land. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Austria (which lately changed her position and supported the border closure) and FYROM are an example of members of the European Union, which are not willing to comply with the new circumstances as they are refusing so far to accept quotas of refugees allocation and thus suggest the border closure. What needs to be kept in mind is that solidarity means that one recognizes that one other faces a serious problem that can be solved by cooperation and not individually. However, it is of paramount importance that all European states perceive themselves as part of the European Union as a whole and tackle with the emerging problems as a unity. This is a rational perspective, which the majority of the deeply European member- states have adopted and are calling for negotiation and cooperation.
A solution needs to be found as soon as possible so that the European Union contributes to the termination of the war in Syria and remains safe and sound after all this humanitarian tragedy. Till then, the Schengen area is in a real danger as free movement cannot be provided if we, as a Union, cannot manage our external border effectively. The European Commission is constantly calling on countries to lift all internal border controls, while stepping up protection of Europe’s external frontiers. The Cold War climate that has been created in view of the refugee crisis requires the promotion of a common European policy for solving problems in a diplomatic agreement as well as with Turkey. The European Union should impose to all its member-states without exception, the full respect of their obligations in terms of fair and proportionate allocation of refugees, making it clear that unilateral action is not permitted and that those who choose them will face relevant consequences. Furthermore, it is notable that the European Union should promote readmission schemes for irregular migrants, by activating existing Readmission Agreements and signing new ones. Last but not least, it is necessary that cooperation with Turkey is promoted in order that the country immediately halts refugee flows towards the European Union and undertakes immediately the responsibility of creating a stable and reliable mechanism of relocation of refugees from Turkey into the European Union. The latest Brussels plan is based on the assumption that Turkey will take decisive steps to reduce the number of people making the perilous crossing across the Aegean Sea.
To end with, as stated in the poem of Warsan Shire "nobody spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck eating newspapers unless the kilometers traveled means more than just a trip."