By Nicholas Elden
European Union heads of state met for an informal meeting on September 23, focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis with the goal of attaining asylum for refugees and ending the war in Syria. According to the Dublin regulation and Schengen acquis, the United Nations must provide a safe haven for the refugees, but EU states were tasked with providing a better framework for shelter while increasing their regional EU trust fund.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for the summit with Chancellor Werner Faymann of Austria. “It is the responsibility of the entire EU,” Merkel said. “Germany and Austria and Sweden cannot solve this problem on their own.”
Merkel recently decided to allow thousands of stranded refugees to enter Germany from Hungary. Anton Troianovski of the Washington Journal reports that “more than 90,000 estimated to have come to Germany so far in September alone.”
BBC News reports that “many migrants want to get asylum in Germany or Sweden, but those countries want their EU partners to show ‘solidarity’ and share the burden.”
The European Union has made advances in providing education to the over two million children fleeing conflict zones in the Middle East. “The needs are enormous. The EU has been at the forefront of the international response to the Syrian crisis, specifically in the education sector in partnership with UNICEF and host governments in the region,” said Johannes Hahn, European Union Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, in a press release.
The European Union has already provided almost two billion euros in humanitarian aid, in addition to financing from the United States and other countries. According to Philippe Fargues and Christine Fandrich of the Migration Policy Center, “Syrians showed the highest rate of increase in detections of illegal border-crossing, and they were increasingly detected as illegal stayers, in both cases these indicators were almost exclusively reported by Greece.”