Syrian refugee crisis exposes European Union’s differences


European Commission will shortly announce its plans to deal with the refugee crisis, believed to be worst since World War II.

Its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will unveil a plan under which 120,000 asylum seekers will be distributed among EU member countries, with binding quotas.

However, the sudden crisis, arisen after the weekend’s dramatic developments, has severely exposed the differences among member countries of the European Union.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Romania have opposed the idea of mandatory quotas.

On the weekend, thousands of refugees, mainly Syrian migrants, trek northwards towards Europe.

Poland, on Tuesday, though gave indications it had softened its stand with Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz announcing to accept more migrants than the 2,000 it first offered to take.

Courtesy: BBC
Courtesy: BBC

But Hungary has made it clear that it was in no mood to provide open doors to Syrian migrants. The country has decided to toughen asylum laws and reinforce a border fence designed to prevent migrants from entering via Serbia.

UK has welcomed to provide ‘safe and direct’ route to Syrian refugees with Prime Minister David Cameron saying that Britain would accept 20,000 immigrants over the term of its current Parliament.

Germany too had welcomed Syrian migrants, waiving EU rules and saying it expects to deal with 800,000 asylum seekers this year alone. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said his country could cope with 500,000 a year for several years to come.