Refugees: Is Europe also to blame?

Other countries have followed Germany's example and re-introduced border controls in recent days. Some politicians are calling for sanctions in the dispute over refugee quotas. As the EU displays its lack of consensus on the refugee issue some commentators draw attention to the Union's foreign policy and point out that it failed years ago.

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Jutarnji list (HR) /

Europe's complicity

With its disastrous foreign policy the EU bears partial responsibility for the refugee crisis, the liberal daily Jutarnji List comments: "As part of the European Union, the strongest economy in the world, we are cheap, cowardly and egoistic. We looked on as EU members and our Nato allies triggered the disasters in Iraq and Libya with a medicine that was worse than the sickness. Our Europe betrayed and humiliated Kurdistan, which we now expect to protect us from the IS terrorists, while our Nato ally Turkey rammed the knife into its ribs from behind. Our Europe laid waste to Palestine together with the US and prepared the terrain for terrorism. And our Europe cares precious little about Darfur and Rohingya - if at all."

Público (PT) /

Nothing learned from past mistakes

With its indecisiveness Europe keeps failing in crisis situations and hasn't learned from its mistakes, the liberal daily Público criticises: "The postponement of a joint resolution on the distribution of refugees at a time when the return of border controls is jeopardising the Schengen Area is the latest in a series of bad news. The EU simply isn't up to the task in this crisis. And as far as the situation in Syria is concerned this isn't the first time either: according to Nobel Peace Prize recipient Martti Ahtisaari Russia offered to have Syrian ruler Assad removed from office in 2012 but the EU and the US carelessly ignored the offer because they assumed that Assad would be hunted out of office anyway. Unfortunately that didn't happen. And today, many thousands of deaths and refugees later, they are willing to include Assad in the dialogue aimed at putting an end to the war and the refugee crisis. Will anyone draw any lessons from this fatal delay?"

Corriere del Ticino (CH) /

Pacifism is anachronistic today

Europe must admit that pacifism achieves nothing in the 21st century, the liberal daily Corriere del Ticino argues: "The number of armed conflicts on Europe's borders has grown exponentially in recent years. Since 2014 the war in Ukraine has claimed 8,000 lives. ... Turkey, far more unstable and unpredictable today than a couple of years ago, is waging a merciless war against the Kurds and particularly the PKK. Which leads one to think that Ankara is using the millions of Syrian refugees in the country who want to come to Europe to improve its bargaining position. To say nothing of the conflict in neighbouring Syria, where the war between the Assad regime and the IS caliphate is laying waste to the country. ... The first fifteen years of this century should convince even the most diehard pacifists that a respectable military budget and efficient defence against cyber wars, terrorism and armed conflict are no longer merely an optional policy today."

The Irish Independent (IE) /

Only defeat of IS can stop flood of refugees

In the refugee crisis Europe and the US must eliminate the evil at its roots, namely the IS terrorist organisation, the conservative daily Irish Independent urges: "It is plain that the unfolding refugee tragedy can only be accelerated by the new terrors being visited on the people of the region each day. Justice ministers can meet in Europe, but unless Isil is confronted and the region stabilised, the bodies of children whose parents have been driven from their homes will continue to be washed up on the beaches of Europe. Safe zones must be established in the Middle East. ... The lack of leadership and a clear strategy merely serves the dark interests of Isil."