October leader

Denmark needs to join the EU to solve the refugee crisis

If Denmark wants to benefit from the prosperity that globalisation offers, it should participate in a joint EU asylum and refugee programme. It will equitably tackle the current refugee crisis and keep the EU’s borders secure. But, most importantly, it will protect the Schengen cooperation. The free flow of goods and labour has enriched all of Europe and needs defending at all costs.

We should do all we can to help those who arrive at Europe’s borders in need of protection. But the current uncontrolled movement of refugees and migrants through the European continent is undesirable. Without a means to properly register all who enter the EU, populist and right wing groups can capitalise on the understandable fear some EU citizens might have.

Populists are already benefiting from the chaos created by the EU’s inability to create a joint solution. Many countries, including Denmark, would rather only care for those who show up at their borders. But this system has failed. The entry points to Europe are also some of the weakest nations in the union. Greece has buckled under pressure and decided this summer to stop registering the new arrivals and instead let them to travel freely across their borders, onward into Europe.

Populist parties don’t care about Schengen, and would love to ditch it to introduce stronger border control. In so doing, they would happily swap European prosperity with naïve and sentimental ideals of national integrity and sovereignty.

who vote for populist parties, however. Often they are the ones that benefit the least from globalisation, and have watched their jobs disappear to countries with cheaper labour, including other EU states. Keeping the EU a social union, rather than one that primarily benefits a corporate class, is a huge challenge, but it’s central to maintaining faith in the European project.

The Murmur supports the creation of reception centres at the EU’s borders to process refugee applications. Those that have a case can then be distributed across Europe where their cases can be completed. In this way, migrants without a case will be quickly turned away, while we also set an example to the international community and appeal for other states to accept a share of the refugees.

But let’s also not kid ourselves: conflict and unease will arise following the large numbers of new arrivals from foreign cultures in Europe. Many will bring emotional trauma, while others will suffer from culture shock. The only way to manage these issues is through concerted efforts to integrate the new arrivals through language and skills training. Those with education will often need to requalify in order to enter our labour markets.

The Danish government must challenge its populist partner DF that is benefiting from the chaos their very policies have helped create. Joining the EU in a refugee programme doesn’t also preclude working for stronger outer borders and resolving the source of the conflicts. We need action now. M


News, Commentary

By The Murmur

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