EM Germany President Wend: enough with helplessness towards those in need!
“The sheer distress and need for help of those who arrive is met with a strange helplessness from the world of politics“, criticised EM Germany President Dr. Rainer Wend in his euro-political statement on refugee policy. “Nation states are simply overwhelmed“, said Wend.
In reference to Juncker’s State of the Union address on 9 September, he calls for a European effort on refugee policy: “let the Juncker administration finally “act big“! The EU needs strong coordination in refugee policy for the purpose of fair burden-sharing and the instruments necessary for this“. Since some EU countries have shirked their responsibility, it is crucial to eliminate nimbyism: “Otherwise Europe will eliminate itself“.
Wend’s euro-political statement in full: (deutsche Version hier)
The influx of thousands of refugees is a test for Europe. The sheer distress and need for help of those who arrive is met with a strange helplessness from the world of politics. The mood is tense, not just in Germany – and those in power are helpless? Current events were foreseeable. Where were, and are, the emergency plans for the absorption of millions of refugees? Let us not kid ourselves. There are none.
I already envisage the next refugees heading off on the dangerous journey to Europe – for example, in an increasingly unstable Lebanon. We can see it, we know it. No fence will stop people in need! More than ever, it is clear: the ever so self-confident nation states will not manage the problem by themselves. They will simply fail. A big, collective European effort is necessary.
“Act big on big things and act small on small things”, Commission President Juncker is absolutely right in his demand on how the EU should act. However, we are seeing something else: the EU should withdraw from acting on small things, yes. But, where is the answer to acting on big things? We have abolished cucumber directives, while people are dying in the Mediterranean. It is high time to “act big“. Common EU domestic and external policy remains a blank sheet of paper. While from Greece, of all countries, we expect border control and processing initial asylum applications?
We Germans are world champions in demanding subsidiarity. Currently, however, the EU is not allowed to react. Nation states are not supporting the European Commission in doing the job. Press appearances and summits by heads of state and government just will not do. We require a collective refugee and immigration policy with real solidarity between states and between communities.
Germany was not always one for common quotas. Even Germany mistrusted collective coordination. To unilaterally repeal the Dublin Regulation for Syrian refugees is a good sign, but it comes too late and it is inadequate.
Let the Juncker administration act big on big things! The EU needs strong coordination in its refugee policy for the purpose of fair burden-sharing and the instruments necessary for this. Crucially, nimbyism should be eliminated in Europe! Otherwise, Europe will eliminate itself.
More on EM Germany’s member organisations’ joint political demand: “acting together: European refugee, asylum and migration policy”