September 21, 2015
Imagine a border crossing. There are three corridors. The first one is for travellers from Schengen countries. They are checked speedily, but the border guards need to make sure that their travel documents (id or passport) are indeed from one of those countries, and that these are not forged documents. Even among those passengers the border guards look for persons who are sought for one reason or another.
The second gate is for travellers from non-Schengen countries. Those passengers need to have a valid Schengen visa on their passport. Normally those passports are scanned when they enter and exit the Schengen territory and basically the check is quite thorough.
And there is a third corridor. It’s for refugees. They enter without any type of check. Not even their number is accounted.
This may look absurd, but this is how Europe looks today.
Nobody seems to acknowledge it, but most of the refugees are not fleeing war. Most of them flee Turkey, where indeed they have been staying too long. Some are Syrian, but many are in fact Iraqi Kurds, and even Aylan, the picture of whose tiny dead body shocked the world, was Kurdish, even his family name is Kurdi. And there are a lot of economic migrants who should be sent back.
Why did all suddenly decide to leave Turkey? Ask Turkey, but keep in mind the country is not far from civil war with its own Kurds.
Europe should better restore some order, also in the interest of asylum-seekers. Refugees should not enter EU territory as they please. They should apply for asylum in centres in Turkey. EU countries should speedily examine the requests and offer asylum to those who qualify, by providing them airline tickets, avoiding the usual problems of terrestrial transit.
There should be a system of burden-sharing, but it should be avoided that one country, namely Germany, gives signals that everyone is welcome. This has already caused huge damage to Europe, and several countries had carried a blame they don’t deserve.
As EU leaders meet for an extraordinary summit on Wednesday (23 September), they should better think how to organise the third corridor.