The European Union has survived many persistent internal and external problems such as the Greek debt crisis, bankruptcy and even the Ukraine tension. But the massive exodus of the Syrian refugees knocking at the European frontiers, and the huge influx of these refugees into the European societies pose grave consequences on the European Union. The disputes about the crisis are so profound to the extent that politicians estimate that 2016 will be a turning point for the Union.
Calais Refugee Camp and Brexit
The miserable situation of Calais jungle camp becomes a bargain game between Europe and Britain. David Cameron takes this issue as a negotiation pretext to get a special status for Britain within the European Union. This special status is a precedent step of the British concept of "Brexit" which means that Britain prefers to live with strong, more fruitful, progressive ten European countries than to meet the expenses of the burden of needy countries like Greece and Bulgaria.
Advocating "Brexit", UK claims that Europe was not responsible for the current persistent problem of the Syrian refugees; therefore it should not pay alone for the consequences. Britain will decide in a referendum to be held on June 3, 2016, whether it will remain an integrated member of Europe or not.
In fact, France warns Britain that pro-separation decision will exempt Paris from its obligation to prevent the refugees of Calais from crossing the "Manche tunnel" towards the British territory. In other words, if the British would like to keep the beautiful view on the English channel, it should remain an essential ingredient of the European subcontinent. The French say that in case Britain is dissociated from the union, they would share the English with France’s already exiting sufferings because of the refugees.
On the other hand, despite the bad news the referendum might bring, "Brexit" would represent a historic windfall for the city of Paris. London will lose its privileges as the heaven of the off-shore fiscal system because all the banks and asset management funds will desert UK. Thus, Paris will welcome the huge number of financial institutions and personnel who want to continue to operate in the European market, without the barriers caused by regulations and taxes that would be applied to London-based institutions once they are outside the Union.
Putin deals with a united Europe as a threat to Russia. The EU embargo imposed on Russia because of its aggression against Ukraine hardened the living conditions of the Russian people. Using his well-known mentality of retaliation, Putin tries to weaken the European Union. He loomed good connections with the European extreme right wings political strata which strive for transforming their separatist dreams into a reality.
To increase the headache of Europe, Putin with the accomplice of the Russian dog’s tail, Bashar Assad, indulged Europe with Syrian refugees who are escaping their homes because of the Russian jets’ severe bombardment.
The pitiful face of Angela Merkel requesting the European countries to open their doors for Syrian refugees, in order to decrease the burden of its country, brought euphoria to Putin whose wishful thinking to see the European Union disintegrated seems starting to be fulfilled.
The negative implications of the refugees’ crisis
- The first tangible result of the ongoing migrant crisis seems to be on Schengen. Ten European states, including Belgium and Austria, recently chose to reinstate border controls. The actual outcome of these procedures is that facilities of citizens’ free movement across borders, without fussy control or loss of time at customs posts, have been negatively influenced.
- The refugees are creating a rift inside the European society. The conservatives opportunistically exploit the refugees crisis to propagandize for their slogans of separatism, isolationism, xenophobia and hatred of others. When rumors are held as truth, a single isolated misbehavior of an illiterate refugee will be generalized by these conservatives as a pattern of the so-called savage behavior of the all refugees. For example, the inhabitants of Calais are avoiding the migrants because someone said that they are thieves and carrying diseases.
- Culturally, the majority of the refugees, particularly the observant Muslims, face difficulties of integration in the European societies. The European qualified social assistants are exerting their efforts to make the refugees adapt with the norms of the new societies in which the refugees feel aliens. But comparing their situation in the new societies to that at their homeland, the refugees feel themselves in safe haven where they can lead a dignified life.
- At the economic level, refugees constitute an additional burden on the European budgets which are already suffering from the economic crisis engulfing the world.
What are the proposals?
The European debates reflect contradictory hypotheses about the refugees’ problem:
- The extremist Europeans call for kicking out the refugees and throwing them back to Turkey which, they claim, is blackmailing Europe by intentionally relaxing its border for the refuges to sneak to Europe.
- The moderates invite all the European countries to participate in securing a collective solution by accommodating the refugees proportionately in the 28 member states of the Union. On the other hand, they ask Turkey to meet its obligation of receiving additional numbers of refuges, pledging that Europe will pay an amount of three billions dollars and a half to meet the expenses of this process.
- The rational Europeans say that they should tackle the origin reason of the Syrian crisis not its syndromes. They propose that finding a just solution for this crisis will guarantee the Voluntarily return of the refugees back home. The just settlement means achieving the civil equality of citizens under the hegemony of the constitution instead of dictatorship which obliged them to flee their country. To achieve this goal, the cooperation and good intention of the super powers and the regional players is imperative.
In fact, Angela Merkel admits that no single European state can alone find a solution to this crisis. It needs cooperation of all the European components along with Turkey and Greek to help the Syrian refugees who are culminated at the border of Macedonia.
In this context, while building high expectations on the European conferences to be held in the near future, the ordeal of the refugees would have been aggravated. The only psychopath to enjoy watching the hard life of the scattered Syrians at the European borders is Bashar Assad.