Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

Lampedusa migrants Magnus Wennman/ZumaPress

A Lifeline for European Solidarity

A human tragedy is unfolding in the Mediterranean, with hundreds of thousands of refugees risking – and, in many cases, losing – their lives for the chance to find refuge in Europe. How the EU responds to this crisis will be a bellwether of its future.

MADRID – A human tragedy is unfolding in the Mediterranean, with hundreds of thousands of refugees risking – and, in many cases, losing – their lives for the chance to find refuge in Europe. How the European Union responds to this crisis matters not just for humanitarian reasons; it will also be a bellwether of the future of the Union itself. The EU must get it right.

Europe faces no shortage of challenges. Over the last five years, it has confronted a seemingly endless series of tests, including a eurozone-wide financial crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, renewed fears of a Greek default, and the prospect of a British exit. But none has raised such fundamental questions about the meaning of the EU as the current debate about migration.

Unfortunately, efforts so far have been inconsistent. The EU acted quickly in the aftermath of the drowning of more than 1,000 migrants in a particularly horrific episode in April, tripling the budget of its much-maligned naval surveillance operations and expanding their operational area to match Italy’s discontinued Mare Nostrum operation. This move has already borne fruit, with record numbers of rescues late last month.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/EWr1bGo;
  1. solana114_FADEL SENNAAFP via Getty Images_libyaprotestflag Fadel Senna/AFP via Getty Images

    Relieving Libya’s Agony

    Javier Solana

    The credibility of all external actors in the Libyan conflict is now at stake. The main domestic players will lower their maximalist pretensions only when their foreign supporters do the same, ending hypocrisy once and for all and making a sincere effort to find room for consensus.

    3

Edit Newsletter Preferences