EU must revise its approach on refugees

Europe needs to agree on a unified policy for tackling the high influx of refugees

It has been reported that various European states have agreed on various measures to stop the flow of refugees into their countries as they simply cannot handle it. These countries who are facing the brunt of the refugee problem have taken a firm stand in spite of the fact that the European Union (EU) has been dithering over the issue, unable to agree on a pragmatic and practical approach to the issue.

Austria and nine Balkan states agreed during a meeting in Vienna last week to keep the majority of migrants in Greece, which is the primary point of entry into the EU. However, the issue with that is that Greece’s economy is already suffering, facing financial difficulties and now with the massive influx of refugees, the country and its people are struggling. It would have been more appropriate if Austria and the Balkan states took some coordinated steps, keeping the fragile situation of Greece in mind to prevent entry of refugees there.

In addition, other European countries who thought that they should adopt a humane approach in dealing with the refugee issue are now left in confusion and lack proper policies. It is particularly surprising that a country like Germany, which adopted a soft policy towards the refugees failed to realise that they don’t really help the refugees by allowing them to enter their country.

While a soft policy is tempting migrants to seek asylum in Europe, the truth is that the huge influx is only causing them to be resented by the local population once they reach the host country.

These people come with the aim of sharing the prosperity after having lived miserable lives, but little do they know that they will be scrutinized for every move they make, they will be hated and face the wrath of the local population. As a result, their children would then blame their parents for placing them in such unenviable conditions.

Some European governments see themselves as being generous by accommodating these refugees, but what they fail to realise is that they are biting off more than what they can chew. The negative effects of the huge influx of refugees into Europe will have some implications on the harmony and stability of the region.

With that in mind, it is high time that the United Nations (UN) works on coming up with an acceptable global policy in dealing with the refugee crisis because it is their responsibility to ensure peace.

By N.S. Venkataraman, Indian founder trustee of an NGO based in Chennai, India