The current mass immigration to Europe is leading to a crisis in the hearts and minds of many Europeans. Many refugees already experienced crisis in their own country and therefore fled towards Europe. It is a reality that European countries struggle how to deal with this problem and to what extent they should be hospitable to refugees while keeping in mind the feelings of their own citizens. However, ECPM believes that the principle of Human Dignity is universal and therefore applies to all human beings, not only to EU citizens. We urge political leaders to be considerate of both the will of their citizens and also to the Human Dignity of refugees.
ECPM recognizes that there is no easy solution to this problem nor a perfect one. To make the claim that the European Parliament and the Member States could solve this issue rather quickly is absurd. However, this does not mean that we cannot take measures that will guide us towards a political line that can decrease the problem.
ECPM is currently, together with the CPFE and ECPM members, working on an in-depth analysis of the problems and the sentiments in Europe. Yet, for the time being we can already propose the following steps.
Stop polarising the debate and differentiate
There is a difference between refugees coming from war torn countries like Syria and Iraq and immigrants who leave from other countries with more economical motives. Everyone has the right to pursue happiness and therefore move to a different country. However, European nations also have the right to be most hospitable to those that they see as most vulnerable and directly threatened.
Be more considerate about international justice and less about short time economic or political gains
The 21st century is the century of the global village and we have learned that our nations and economies are more interdependent than ever. A crash on Wall Street hits our European economies but a civil war in Iraq and Syria will eventually become part of our problems as well. ECPM calls on politicians to be more pro-active in striving for international justice and to be less aimed at short time gains. If we dealt with ISIS in an earlier stage, the current immigration problem would have been smaller.
ECPM has been advocating a sensible way to do this for a long time already: http://www.ecpm.info/news/european-parliament-resolution-against-isis-and-its-attacks-middle-east-needs-be-put-action
Acknowledge the importance of freedom of religion
Extremist Islamic groups like ISIS, Boko Haram and others are the driving forces behind civil wars in the Middle East and Africa. They are most violent against Christians who often only have the choice to convert to Islam or face execution. Freedom of faith and religion is key to a free and peaceful society. The EU should do more to promote freedom of religion as it promotes freedom and safeguards peace.
Finally, we would like to urge all citizens in Europe to show our grievances not to those who have fled their country but to require from our politicians to fight those groups who made these people flee their homes.The root cause of this problem is not within the European borders. Therefore, any real solution can only be achieved outside our borders.