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What consequences does the handling of the refugee crisis have for the EU?

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The way the European Union (EU) responded to the refugee crisis evoked contradictory reactions from EU citizens. Many believe that the EU shot itself in the foot with its mishandling of the crisis and that in this way, it made a fertile ground for the rise of populist voices. Others on the contrary think that the EU policy has a lot of benefits.
Source: Pexels.com

The union is not a federation

Farkas Zsolt | translated by: Böröcz Dorottya | 2018. September 28. 16:00

The foreign and domestic politics of the current Hungarian government could be criticized in many respects, but its principles regarding immigration are appropriate – even if their execution might be problematic. Every patriotic Hungarian must agree that the impact of migration on Hungary must be alleviated by a fence and by strong border control. The opposition party Jobbik, (a Movement for a Better Hungary) also supports this aim. Their idea of the implementation of such a plan may differ though.

*Political dead ends across the EU

We do not necessarily have to limit this subject to Hungary. Several Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, have repeatedly rejected the "Willkommen policy" that is heavily promoted by the European Union, especially Germany. Great-Britain and Austria have also rejected the idea that international organizations should decide instead of elected national governments. The overzealous application of global policy with no regard for national cultures has caused serious damage in Western European countries, even in Germany, the home country of globalization. In Britain, it resulted in such a high level of protests that the country has voted to leave the European Union, which is a terrible loss for the EU. The irresponsible policy of the EU has set back integration aspirations by decades, both within Europe and globally.

The last time the euro-skeptic and far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) won as many seats as in the 2017 elections, was in 1999. The reason for this is the imprudent German immigration policy that outraged their Austrian brothers so much that a large percentage of Austrians turned towards nationalism, although the nation was almost always inclined to the left. And yet another proof of the harmful effects of forced globalist politics: the Alternative for Germany (AfD) far-right populist party was not able to win a single mandate in the 2013 federal elections, but currently they hold 94 seats in the Bundestag, the lower House of Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany.

*The question of responsibility

The aggressive policy of the European Union's leadership ignores the opinions of the member states’ citizens. This had led countless times to the opposite of what the EU intended to achieve. I have already mentioned that in this way global integration (a noble cause, in my opinion) is not sped up, but on the contrary, alienates people from the mere thought of cooperation. What is cooperation anyway? It is certainly not the synonym of a single member state (even if it has the strongest economy) within an intergovernmental co-operation, trying to economically and politically force its immigration policy on other member states. The very nature of this type of cooperation requires decisions to be made by unanimous vote. The Willkommen-policy, of course, like any other policy decision, could be feasible, but only with the consent of all states of the Union. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her political supporters are forcing it in vain. The policy in its current form will not materialize.

Germany's historical past and traumas are not sufficient reasons for the rest of the European Union to give up their national politics. Not only are other states discouraged from further European integration, which nevertheless serves as the basis of the Union, but also a certain percentage of its own population, as we have seen through the example of the AfD.

Don’t get me wrong, I'm not a euro-skeptic, but I have doubts about Merkel's policy.

*Quotas, or the embodiments of the whole problem

I have the same opinion on the introduction of mandatory refugee quotas. It does not simply destroy trust among the population of all the countries of the European Union, but it is directly opposed to the spirit and the democratic belief system of the EU. I believe it has been repeatedly shown in the past that a large percentage of the European population does not want to solve the immigration issue and the migration crisis in such way, or at least not in the same way as the leaders of Germany, France the Benelux states have imagined. Not to mention how this aggressive policy exposes EU citizens at the whim of extremist, hate-inducing and populist politicians. These political forces – just like in Hungary – have gained votes at an alarming rate in recent times, due to the irresponsible politics of the European elites.

The European Union's political leaders continue to evade corrections and the greater involvement of Europeans. They do not back down from forcing their plans, and complement their action with blaming people for refusing to accept incorrect policy decisions without a second thought. This has seriously damaged the EU's spirit, its achievements of integration that it fought for with blood, sweat, and tears, as well as tarnished the European people’s living conditions and their feeling of comfort.

It’s been a long time since the general mood was so incredibly tense in the EU and nobody knows when this is going to change. In my opinion, all we can do is to maintain the boycott of coercive politics. But we should not surrender to the forces using hate speech to agitate people. The future of Europe is in closer co-operation, but not the way its current leaders imagine it to be.

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