Balanced and fair solution needed for migrants to EU

Balanced and fair solution needed for migrants to EU

Mihai-Viorel Fifor President of the National Council of the Social Democratic Party, Romania
Unfortunately we are nowadays witnessing harsh times full of daily threats that are jeopardizing the very fabric of our democratic societies. It is sad to acknowledge that our basic human values are put into question by despicable actions. Paris, Ankara, Brussels, Lahore, Istanbul, Iskanderiyah and many other places around the world have been added to the map of terrorist bloodshed. 

In this turbulent and very tense environment, migration still remains a considerable challenge for all of us. The time is ripe to reinforce our coordinated actions by enhancing cross-border cooperation, by sharing relevant information with a view to preventing illegal border crossing and adventurous and risky journeys, by fighting against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings. All these actions are to be taken in order to bring about positive and concrete effects. 

In this context I would like to express my appreciation for Turkey’s valuable contribution to the management of the migration crisis. The recent migration deal between Turkish authorities and the European Union is an important step in resolving the refugee crisis. All the relevant policymakers have to keep a firm grip on the way this agreement is put in place, while bearing in mind the legal safeguards granted to different categories of migrants under the international law. 

As state party to the relevant international and European conventions (European Convention on Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Geneva UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees from 1951 and its Additional Protocol from 1967), Romania must provide migrants and refugees with full protection, including the needed resources for the observance of applicable international standards. When dealing with migration issues, a special attention has to be granted to vulnerable categories of people, such unaccompanied children, women when they are travelling alone, elderly or people with disabilities.

When it comes to refugees and economic migrants, it is sometimes hard to make a clear distinction among them, having in mind that the pressure to migrate is often based on the desire both to escape impoverishment and to flee from conflict and human rights abuses. 

We have to acknowledge that the huge number of migrants who left their home countries in order to get a better life in Europe brought divide among EU Member States as regards the best way to handle the migration crisis. 

I plead for an improved cooperation with the migrants countries of origin and transit of migrants, based on common efforts and shared responsibilities, as the most effective way to tackle the root causes of migration. An essential part of these common efforts by international community should focus on devising realistic plans designed to make stabilization of Syria as a key priority. 

Fragile and failing States cannot ensure the population’s fundamental rights and needs on their respective territories. 

This context of poor governance allows the movement of large groups that can also revive disputes between formerly divided ethnic groups, bringing them into close proximity and into competition for resources. In other words it’s a fertile ground for igniting or re-igniting conflicts, one of the push factors for forced migration. 

I believe that instead of building fences in Europe or in any other places in the world we should bridge the gap between us by promoting tolerance and common understanding, by making our societies more inclusive. We should strive to do our best in going forward these legitimate expectations. 

At the same time we are experiencing a rising sense of discontent among our European citizens who sees their welfare, their free movement and even their lives in danger (if we look at street harassment and sexual violence perpetrated against women in some towns in Germany). 

This wave of dissatisfaction is unfortunately used for electoral purposes by radical political movements whose main drivers are the hate speech, xenophobia and racism. 

Our envisaged solution must be a balanced and a fair one for all the people who are coming in Europe, but not at the expense of our own citizens’ future.