The Dutch EU Presidency needs to display more ambition in tackling the migrant crisis

21.01.2016 | European Union
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The Dutch EU Presidency needs to display more ambition in tackling the migrant crisis

The Dutch EU Presidency plays a crucial role in the harmonization of national positions of Member States (MS) on the matter of the refugees; the primary aim is to safeguard the Schengen area, claimed Iuliu Winkler in his written declaration which he addressed to the European Parliament´s plenary during the debates this Wednesday targeting the Dutch Presidency´s priorities for the upcoming six months.  

“Today, the Schengen Area is in peril, and its collapse means the collapse of the Union. The Dutch Presidency begins its mandate in a rather difficult time, while the EU witnesses unprecedented challenges. The highest priority of the Presidency, namely the comprehensive approach to tackle the migration problem as well as international security, is rightfully established as such; however it does not sufficiently reflect the urgent nature of the necessary measures to be taken. We need more ambition”, considers the MEP. In his opinion, the EU needs to admit its failures in confronting the refugee crisis, its inability to formulate a common response to this issue. 

 “We have to be very clear: not all migrants that come to Europe can remain in Europe. We need clear regulation that allows for the distinction between refugees and economic migrants. We bear the moral duty to offer protection to refugees from Syria, but we need to identify those economic migrants that should be reoriented towards their countries of origin. The Dublin Regulation ought to be urgently reviewed based on the Commission´s proposal expected this March. Frontex requires a radical reform that would lead to a more efficient securitisation of the EU´s external borders. As such, by saving the free movement area, one deters the disintegration of our Union”, further argued Winkler in his assertion.    

The UDMR MEP´s statement surfaces on the backdrop of worrisome accounts from EU leaders that refer to the dangers of the free movement area´s collapse amidst decisions taken by several MS under the pressure of the ample wave of migrants, but also spurs from the recent pronouncement of a temporary suspension of the Schengen Agreement by the Austrian authorities in Vienna.