People fleeing from war, terror and economic deprivation are willing to risk death in order to reach Europe. Can the EU help these refugees? Does it even want to?
Critics say the EU, which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, has a hypocritical stance and is guilty of a criminal failure to provide assistance. The EU has a responsibility even if the root causes of the migration lie in Africa and need to be tackled in Syria, Eritrea, Libya and elsewhere. The EU has responded with a ten-point plan of action and the promise of more assistance. But should there be more possibilities for those seeking help to come to Europe legally?
Italy, where many of the victims are washed up on the shoreline, feels the EU has left it alone with the problem. But pressure on the EU is now such that it knows it will no longer suffice to simply repeat that something needs to happen. Europe needs to help stabilize African countries in crisis, combat human traffickers who profit from the desperate situations of others, and to organize the reception of migrants and see that they are distributed across the EU.
The EU has now accepted the necessity for such measures. But refugees also need a chance to build a better future for themselves. Too often they are simply stuck in camps where they can face hostility from the local population. What is the key to a successful refugee policy? What can Europe do? Is the EU solely responsible, or even guilty, in connection with these deaths?
Tell us what you think: quadriga(at)dw.de
Johannes Leithäuser - is a historian, political scientist and an economist. As a student, he freelanced for a number of newspapers, before eventually taking a job with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He's been there ever since. Fifteen years ago he joined the paper's Berlin bureau as its East German correspondent. He also served as a correspondent in London for several years. Today, his areas of expertise include domestic politics, as well as European and foreign affairs.
Daniel Gerlach – He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Zenith, a German magazine focusing on politics, economics and culture in the Middle East. After studying history and Middle Eastern Studies in Hamburg and Paris, he started as a freelance journalist. He is the author for several TV-documentations on the Middle East and the Islamic world. He is also a co-founder of the German publishing house Levante Verlag.
Houssam Aldeen - is a Syrian journalist who has been living since the end of 2012 in exile in Berlin. In his home country he worked as a theater director and as a documentary filmmaker. Working with film crews from Western countries, he made documentaries about social problems in Syria, in particular the difficulties faced by Iraqi refugees. He was arrested five times by the Syrian authorities, and was eventually only able to work in secret, before he fled abroad. Now he is working for a refugee project with Reporters Without Borders. Together with two friends, he also founded a cultural center where he acts as a liaison between refugees and the German community.