In the midst of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, exasperated by the rise of populist movements across Europe and hampered by the security challenges we face as a continent, Europe is up against one of the biggest challenges in its history.
With vast numbers of refugees at our borders, we must make some of our most crucial decisions – how to handle our borders in the short term and reduce the number of refugees in the medium term. And how we do this sets the tone for Europe’s future. We believe the only effective solutions will be European, rather than national ones.
There is no quick fix for migration. We need to look at every single aspect and come up with an all-encompassing plan. Solidarity must be the principle upon which any action on migration is based and integration must be a two-way process. People granted protection must be given all the rights they are entitled to, but at the same time, it is also fair to expect respect for the values upon which our Union is built.
In the long term, greater commitment is needed in solving the geo-political issues that affect the root causes of migration – war, poverty, corruption, hunger and a lack of opportunities means people will still feel forced to flee to Europe unless Europe also looks at how to help rebuild those countries.