The European Union’s plan to address the migrant crisis
The UN estimates that about 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year.
Later this week, the executive arm of the European Union (EU) will submit a proposal to its 28 member states in hopes of addressing the major migration crisis that is taking place in Europe right now. Their plan to introduce a mandatory quota requires that all 28 EU member states agree to participate and it is already meeting a lot of resistance.
Before I get into the varying reactions to the plan, let me give you some quick background about what’s going on so we’re all on the same page here.
The United Nations estimates that about 60,000 people have tried to cross the Mediterranean this year already. Why? According to Amnesty International, migrants are being forced to take this dangerous journey because of the “horrific abuse” that is taking place in Libya. This year alone 1,800 migrants have died and tens of thousands of people have risked their lives to have a better future.
The quota plan has been characterized as a solution to help share the burden among EU members, as many countries are expressing that there is too much pressure on them to take on such a high number of migrants seeking asylum. The New York Times explains that this mandatory redistribution of migrants will be based on a quota system, factoring in things like the population of a country, its economy and its unemployment rates.
In order for this plan to go into effect, national governments of the EU will need to approve the plan. But as mentioned previously, there is already strong push back from several governments claiming that a mandatory quota is not the answer. (Bonus explainer: not surprisingly states where the migrants are actually showing up -Italy, Greece, etc.- are in favor of the quota while states that don't border the mediteranean are generally less suppoortive).
Countries like Germany, Italy, Greece and Malta are pushing hard for other members of the EU to step up and get on board with the quota proposal. They believe that everyone needs to work together to address this problem. However, a strong anti-immigrant sentiment coupled with suffering national budgets are standing in the way of this happening.
What are your thoughts on what should be done, global citizens?