Two young children looking at the photographer from their tent.
  Afghan children sit between tents at a relocation centre for migrants and refugees near Athens. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

What is left of the united and inclusive Europe?

26 February, 2016

The unravelling of European trust, solidarity and consensus is spectacular. Time magazine reported that ”tensions are flaring between European powers” while the French newspaper Le Monde described the EU interior ministers meeting in Brussels as a complete failure.

Panic time is the worst time for making structural decisions with a long-term vision.

Indeed, what we are witnessing is a fire sale of everything that made the EU a “common territory”.

It is now clear that NATO will be used to push back migrants from Greece to Turkey. Greece was deemed not a safe country for Dublin refugee returns after the European Court of Human Rights MSS decision, and push backs to Libya were condemned by the Hirsi decision. Yet, it now seems perfectly acceptable to everyone that refugees will be pushed back from Greek waters to Turkey.

When have we witnessed such a lamentable political class, lacking all sense of purpose and responsibility?

Squandering the legacy of the free movement of persons as attributes of a common European citizenship is such a shame.

History will judge them harshly and the next generation, who are much more attuned to mobility and diversity, will have to rebuild everything from scratch.


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