Facing one of its biggest humanitarian crises in recent times the European Union (EU) has called for an emergency summit on migrants. The summit has been called to discuss solutions to the crisis as more and more migrants from Middle East and North Africa are entering Europe seeking asylum. The EU is one of the most peaceful regions in the world and its citizens believe that they have set the standards for compassion, but this compassion is now being tested with an unprecedented inflow of migrants from within the EU and outside EU.
“If Europe has solidarity and we have also shown solidarity towards others, then we need to show solidarity now,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said everything must move quickly. Stressing on the need for the EU countries to do more Ms Merkel said she expects the asylum seekers to quadruple to 8,00,000 by the end of 2015 in Germany. The country receives more asylum seekers than other EU countries as it is the most powerful economy in EU.
Around 2,70,000 asylum seekers are estimated to have reached Europe by sea this year. Many are fleeing their countries for fear of being persecuted by violent extremist groups such as the Islamic State (IS), war, oppression, poverty in Syria and other parts of Africa. The meeting among EU members is expected to discuss ways to send some of the migrants back home and take measures to prevent human trafficking.
Despite the EU speaking about compassion and the need to help displaced migrants, the region also has many citizens who are xenophobic. The rise of Islamic terror outfits across Europe has also added to the increasing fears and paranoia that grip the EU. There has been an increasing clamour on how Europe can assimilate the immigrants better. There have been plenty of suggestions asking the EU countries to grant work to these asylum seekers just like New York, London and Vancouver do.
While the growing number of migrants is a cause for Europe to be concerned about, it should not allow the larger cause of an integrated continent and region to get diluted. The massive influx of rising migrants over the past few days have raised concerns about free travel across the region speculating a change in rules making free travel within the region harder. It is for EU and the most powerful country in the region to add to a more conducive atmosphere while addressing the growing concerns among its citizens as well.
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