Editorial: What end to the Med migrant crisis?
2015-08-01 11:49:30 -

The Government has announced it will take 600 of the more than 40,000 refugees the European Union is struggling to re-settle as a result of the Mediterranean migrant crisis.


Tens of thousands have already been affected since 2014, and many more are expected in the coming months as conflicts and unrest continue to rage beyond Europe’s borders in Africa and the Middle East.


Echoing the comments of Dublin MEP Brian Hayes, Metro Éireann welcomes Ireland’s gesture – though it is one which, considering the nature of the crisis, is still just a drop in the ocean. 


It takes little pressure off the Italian, Maltese, and Greek authorities who are taking in the bulk of refugees and migrants but demonstrates that the humanitarian crisis is “a challenge to all European countries including Ireland,” as Hayes suggested.


Adding that “there cannot be an open-border policy”, Hayes said that all refugees accepted by Ireland would have to undergo full security screening and language suitability before they would be processed. He also reiterated his call for the EU “to work together to accommodate asylum seekers in the best way possible. All member states need to play a part. ”


As good as that may sound, the issue is not just about accommodating people who have arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean. What of the thousands who have died at sea? Given the opportunity, we believe many of them – those who survived the arduous journey, and those who have perished on the way – would not have abandoned their home countries outside of the extreme circumstances they face.


While we support every effort aimed at giving them an opportunity to start anew, the fact remains – as Metro Éireann has previously highlighted several times – that the EU and other members of the international community, especially the United States, need to do much more to tackle the cause of this mass exodus.

TAGS : Refugee Crisis EU United States
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