The Guardian view on EU migration policy: past time it had one | Editorial

Despite the searing warmth and the absence of a viable choice, it used to be reported this week that some former occupants of the burnt-out Moria refugee camp on Lesbos had been refusing to transport to transient tented lodging somewhere else at the island. They worry that in the event that they achieve this, they’ll simply be forgotten about all over the place once more.

Who can blame them? For years the remainder of Europe has identified of the squalor, overcrowding and desperation at Moria and different detention camps at the Greek islands. The Ecu Union has thrown some cash within the path of Athens and, to a shameful extent, left the Greek govt to get on with it. On the finish of final yr, Greece used to be website hosting round 200,000 migrants, nearly all of whom had crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey. But all the way through the previous 5 years, a trifling 15,000 arrivals had been relocated to different EU nations.

Because the numbers have grown, the preliminary generosity of spirit proven by way of islanders has evaporated. Mainland politicians have develop into justifiably embittered by way of the disproportionate burden that Greece, in conjunction with Italy and Malta, is being requested to hold. Resentment has bred cynicism. It used to be obviously was hoping, even though by no means publicly said, that the appalling dwelling prerequisites persevered by way of migrants, and the interminable stay up for their programs to be processed, may discourage others from making the similar adventure. As arrivals endured this summer season, Greece’s conservative govt used to be accused by way of human rights organisations of illegally and secretly expelling greater than 1,000 asylum seekers. A Dad or mum investigation discovered equivalent ways getting used off the Maltese coast.

The Moria blaze, and the migrant protests that adopted it, will have to mark the tip of this scandalous escalation of hostilities in opposition to the prone, and the remainder of Europe will have to recognise its complicity in it. Britain, predictably and shamefully, has sat on its arms because the hearth and completed not anything. Angela Merkel on Tuesday pledged that Germany would take 1,500 migrants from the Lesbos camp. However extra necessary in the longer term is the dedication by way of Mrs Merkel and the Ecu fee to take an instantaneous position in construction and working a dignified reception web site for migrants at the island.

Maximum crucially, different member states will have to be persuaded to take critically article 80 of the EU treaty, which calls for a “truthful sharing of accountability” on migration problems. Subsequent week, the Ecu fee will unveil its long-delayed plan to determine a not unusual asylum and migration coverage. As soon as once more, nations can be requested to simply accept a extra equitable distribution of migrants around the union. The Ecu commissioner for house affairs, Ylva Johansson, has expressed hope that the spirit of the coronavirus restoration fund, which pooled EU debt to lend a hand hard-hit international locations, will also be replicated. However given the implacable opposition of jap Ecu nations similar to Hungary and Poland to a quota device of any type, it’s demanding to look how a scheme may paintings and not using a obligatory element.

Because the top of 2015, the choice of abnormal migrants in the hunt for to go into the EU has plummeted. Ms Johansson put it neatly when she stated that Europe does no longer have a migration disaster presently, however “some migrants are in disaster”. It’s previous time for one thing to be completed about their dilemma.

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