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Confronting the Migrant Threat to the EU

More than any other challenge facing Europe today, the ongoing migration crisis has the potential to destroy the European project. Rather than debating European Commission diktats and lamenting member states' rebelliousness, EU leaders must consider fresh approaches, including third-country disembarkation platforms.

MADRID – The European Union loves giving itself ultimatums, whether it is the two-year deadline for Brexit negotiations or European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s declaration, upon taking office, that his was a “last-chance commission.” Unfortunately, European leaders rarely follow through on their best-laid plans. When it comes to migration, however, they may not have a choice.

The issue has become a sword of Damocles hanging over the EU. It straddles every fault line: between country and community, between security and openness, between national and European identity, between social values and economic or strategic interests. As a result, migration, more than any of the other myriad challenges the EU confronts today, has the potential to destroy the European project.

Of course, the EU has often proved that, when push comes to shove, inertia prevails. But, given the urgency of today’s migration crisis, not even the EU will be able to muddle through. If it tries, the issue will only fester, eating away at the Union’s very foundations. For once, Europe’s leaders have no choice but to put up or shut up.

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