Europe feels the need to become a fortress against an unmanageable wave of migration. However, imperiling the achievements resulting from a border-free Europe could be worse. A combination of vigilance and innovative technology might secure the compromise.
Over the years political missteps have jeopardized one of Europe’s major achievements: the abolishment of border controls. Now the migrant crisis has laid bare shortcomings in the Schengen Agreement.
Immigrants used to come to Europe primarily for economic reasons. But as instability in the region increases, more and more of them are seeking the status of political asylum and need to navigate an array of laws and systems.
It would be mistaken to view the rise of the Islamic State as simply a barbaric aberration. The sophistication and efficacy of their recent conquests will require the West to examine the political spectrum with new prisms.
Is it worth knocking on Europe’s migration door? Funds have been set up, but they are not working as well as they should. A new, more efficient approach to processing immigrants is required.
Does Europe have a migration strategy? One might say that it has numerous, often conflicting strategies. But until some cohesive, EU-wide policy is put into place, there will be no way of taking advantage of migration’s benefits.
As the US and EU begin working on a free trade agreement, it will also be wise to allow for freer movement of labor – especially highly skilled labor. Establishing a Migration Council to expedite matters would be in the interest of both parties.
In the throes of the economic crisis, Europe and the US still have to contend with the perennial issue of migration. Public perception with regard to migrants is evolving continually.
Like it or not, more migrants will be crossing the Mediterranean. To deal with this crisis, an unprecedented level of cooperation among EU member states is essential.