Emergency EU Meeting Called
Animosity over millions of migrants entering the EU has finally reached the crisis stage. In an emergency meeting this weekend, called by German chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Leaders to Hammer Out Continental Response to Migrant Crisis.
European leaders will hold an emergency summit this weekend in an attempt to bring order to the tide of migrants crossing the western Balkans.
The hastily arranged meeting in Brussels comes after weeks of tit-for-tat border closures in Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, which have led to thousands of migrants being stranded in increasingly difficult conditions in southeastern Europe.
The crisis has triggered a dramatic deterioration of relations between governments in the region, with Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar attacking Croatia's handling of the situation. Slovenia this weekend called in the army to help cope with the influx, sparking concern among diplomats in Brussels.
At the meeting on Sunday, Ms Merkel is expected to push for increased efforts to "Europeanise" border controls. The chancellor believes that unless the influx is brought to a halt, finding a solution to where refugees will be resettled or relocated will be nearly impossible.
In an effort to ease the pressure, German chancellor Angela Merkel will meet leaders from nine other countries on the so-called "western Balkans route", which has become the main route for people trying to reach Europe.
Brussels's plans involves a potential "structural" resettlement programme early next year. Officials will look at basing the proposals on recommendations from UNHCR, which has called on the EU to take in up to 200,000 people from refugee camps in countries such as Turkey and Lebanon.
This mass resettlement will come on top of the agreed "relocation" of 160,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries, which was introduced after a fierce diplomatic bust-up between Berlin and its eastern neighbours.
Berlin has attempted to toughen its stance on refugees and is considering using military transport aircraft to ferry unsuccessful asylum seekers back to their homelands in a bid to win over an increasingly sceptical German public.
The eight EU member states set to attend the summit are Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia, along with Germany, which is still the favoured destination for most people heading to Europe. Non-EU countries including Macedonia and Serbia will also attend the meeting.
- Germany-Czech Republic
Merkel Seeks to "Europeanise" Border Controls
Catchy phrases like "Europeanise border controls" won't do a damn thing. What the hell does "Europeanise" border controls even mean? I doubt if the Chancellor herself has any idea.
Merkel opened herself up to this mess by ram-rodding through a hugely unpopular proposal to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other EU countries over the course of a year.
I said that would be woefully short and it was. Now they seek another 200,000 more and it won't stop there.
As it stands, there are over 2 million refugees in Turkey, many of whom are making their way towards the border with Greece.
If the refugees in Turkey make their way to the EU, it's a potential influx of 164,000 a month.
Greece cannot handle the inflow.
The problem will not go away unless and until there is a broad consensus effort to stop all economic refugees while simultaneously removing the refugees' incentive to relocate.
One convenient choke point is the small border between Turkey and Greece. I suggest Greece should block it. That might force Turkey close off its Southern border.
Why do the refugees want to relocate to Germany?
Because Germany offers the most free services, food, and shelter. There is an unlimited demand for free food free shelter, and free services.
And that is the crux of the problem. The EU needs to remove the incentive for economic refugees to relocate to European countries coupled with much tighter border controls.
But Merkel refuses to do that. As it stands, this crisis will be her undoing. As I said the other day, "Peak Merkel" has arrived.