The Paris Terror attack and ongoing Syrian Refugee Crisis has some major ramification unfolding for the European Union. One is a threat to EU unity, another is a threat to ‘citizen’ freedom, and another is a threat to the member states’ sovereignty.
Here are some key news items, followed by a video analysis by the State of Wake.
Published on Nov 20, 2015
European leaders are now in Brussels to discuss tighter border controls….It’s likely they’ll be eager to introduce more radical security measures in light of recent terror attacks. In the context of the severe terrorist crisis, we want provisions made to strengthen border controls. This should include the considerable reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.
Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned that countries which fail to adequately guard Europe’s borders and do not take in a fair share of refugees could find themselves outside the borders of a future “mini-Schengen” zone.
In an interview in Belgian business dailies De Tijd and L’Echo on Friday, Dijsselbloem, who is also the chair of the euro zone group of finance ministers, said the EU’s passport-free Schengen zone could not work if only a few countries gave shelter to refugees…
Many members of the 26-country Schengen zone, particularly poorer Eastern European ones, oppose a European Commission plan to distribute refugees who have arrived in Europe since the start of the year…..
…Dijsselbloem said his aim was to preserve the Schengen zone, but if countries did not shoulder their fair share, others would have to go it alone, since the migrant influx would otherwise endanger their generous welfare states.
“To preserve them, you need to guard the external borders. (Otherwise) loads of people come and demand support and they blow the system up. That is what is happening now in the Netherlands,” he said…..
…The Netherlands first floated the idea of a passport-free inner core earlier this month, though Germany, without which such a plan would be unworkable, immediately distanced itself from the proposals.
On Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker, the head of the EU’s executive, warned that the fate of the Schengen zone was bound up with that of the euro single currency: the one would not survive the failure of the other.,,,,
(Reporting By Thomas Escritt; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)
Published on Nov 29, 2015
European Union leaders will offer Turkey a 3.2-billion-US-dollar aid package and a boost for its membership bid in exchange for its cooperation with the migrant crisis at a summit on Sunday, although key issues remain to be hammered out.
Having already called for a European standing army, in order to show Russia “that [The EU is] serious about defending European values,” EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday, in his firs
speech to the European Parliament since the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, that Europe’s single currency would come under threat if the Schengen visa-free travel zone fails. As EUObserver reports,
“If the spirit of Schengen leaves us … we’ll lose more than the Schengen agreement. A single currency doesn’t make sense if Schengen fails,” Juncker told the parliamentarians.
“Schengen is one of the main pillars of the construction of Europe,” he added.
“We have to safeguard the spirit behind the Schengen agreement,” Junkcer said, admitting: “The Schengen system is partly comatose.”
“Those who believe in Europe, those who believe in its values and principles, freedoms, must breathe new life into the spirit behind Schengen,” he noted.
“A single currency doesn’t make sense if Schengen fails,” he repeated.
“Those who carried out these attacks in Paris, those who incited these attacks, are the same people who are forcing the unlucky of this planet to flee, please don’t get things mixed up,” Juncker said.
….Speaking at the parliament, where legislation on sharing airline passengers’ data has stalled, Junkcer called on MEPs to cover people flying within the EU in the law.
He also confirmed the EU commission willi come forward with proposals on an EU-wide border guard and coast guard system in December, and called for more effective cooperation between European intelligence services.
“I think it [Schengen’s free travel] should continue, most definitely. We’ve made great progress over the last couple of years, so why should we change it?” a man who gave only his first name as Ralph said….
“It should continue, but we still have to raise the controls on European outside borders,” said another man, Ulrich Mueller. “According to the law, everybody has to be checked when they enter Europe.”
Control on the outer borders of the Schengen zone has been a controversial issue since the mass migration to Europe of people fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere started.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have been able to enter the Schengen zone, mostly from Greece, and reach Western European states without having to register anywhere along the way.
From the Independent UK:
Officers responded by firing stun grenades and rubber bullets as up to 40 people on the Greece-Macedonia border were injured in the brief but intense clashes, according to reports.
Macedonian authorities said 18 soldiers were injured, with two taken to hospital, while around 20 refugees were also hurt.
From Athens News Agency: November 28th, 2015
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday expressed his government’s determination not to remain in the position of a passive observer, but to claim an active role by taking initiatives on the ongoing refugees issue.
Tsipras underlined that Greece is waging a battle to address the refugee issue as a Europe-wide problem, as well as a problem of the neighbouring countries.
He noted that “Greece is meeing its European obligations to set up reception and identification centres for refugees”, while he underlined that “Europe must realize that Greece guards the EU borders.”
“Neither a fence nor the passing of the problem from one country to another can stop the flow of refugees as a result of war and poverty,” he added.
Schengen Area Locations
EU Refugee Crisis