How They See It, April 26, 2015

Europe's refugee migrant crisis

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 April, 2015, 2:17am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 April, 2015, 2:17am

1. Los angeles Times

Leaders of the European Union are doing something they should have done months ago: they're mapping a strategy to counter a humanitarian crisis at sea - a steady flow of rickety boats carrying thousands of mostly African and Middle Eastern refugees across the Mediterranean to Europe. A 10-point plan calls for more aggressive efforts to intercept migrant boats closer to Libya, disrupt smuggling operations and streamline refugee application processes, among other steps. Whether these steps will save lives is, of course, hard to predict. But it's promising at least that the European nations may finally be rising to a challenge they knew was coming. Los Angeles

 

2. The Guardian

Measures such as destroying the traffickers' boats will not be easy to implement. Like the continuing attempt to curtail Somalian piracy, it may even involve a military element. There are signs that the EU would like to be able to subcontract its problem to third countries. Australia funds programmes in Nauru and Papua New Guinea to detain people in transit. The long-term answer for the Mediterranean boat people is to put global stability and economic prosperity at the heart of foreign policy. The short-term answer is a managed resettlement programme so that people do not have to risk their lives at sea. Until then, we have an unbreakable moral obligation to save them. London

 

3. The Washington Post

Only the European Union can help these migrants, especially once they take to the sea. Shamefully, however, governments under pressure from domestic anti-immigrant parties have shrunk from the task. Thankfully, the current disaster appears to have galvanised - or maybe shamed - EU governments to consider solutions. The starting point should be obvious: the resumption of a large-scale search-and-rescue operation like that abandoned by Italy. European leaders should also consider providing more legal ways for refugees to seek refuge in their countries, without having to board smuggling boats. What shouldn't be an option is continuing to ignore the humanitarian crisis. Washington