“It is time we had a lit­tle more faith in Europe’s abil­ity to pro­vide col­lec­tive so­lu­tions to prob­lems felt acutely and in­de­pen­dently by each EU mem­ber state”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

part­ner­ship with Africa to ad­dress the root causes of mi­gra­tion. And our EU agen­cies con­tinue to help the of­ten­over­bur­dened na­tional au­thor­i­ties in the most af­fected mem­ber states iden­tify, screen and finger­print in­com­ing mi­grants, speed up the pro­cess­ing of asy­lum-seek­ers, and co­or­di­nate the re­turn of those who do not qual­ify.

If it seems as though the EU has all the so­lu­tions for its trou­bles the rea­son is that, in the­ory, we really do. The re­al­ity, how­ever, is some­where fur­ther afield. I may sound like a bro­ken record, but I am still at a loss as to why fol­low­ing through on com­mit­ments taken at the high­est po­lit­i­cal level has been so dif­fi­cult.

For ex­am­ple, sum­mit af­ter sum­mit, lead­ers say they will send border guards to help Greece pro­tect our ex­ter­nal bor­ders, or fi­nan­cial aid to help our neigh­bours in Jor­dan, Le­banon and Tur­key cope with the large num­ber of refugees there. Each time, weeks go by with tar­gets un­reached and com­mit­ments un­ful­filled. In­stead, we get a tired blame game pit­ting EU states against one an­other; a race to the bot­tom in which na­tional gov­ern­ments down­grade their asy­lum sys­tems to make them less at­trac­tive than those of the coun­try next door; and politi­cians from left to right nour­ish­ing a pop­ulism that brings only anger, not so­lu­tions.

It is time we had a lit­tle more faith in Europe’s abil­ity to

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