European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s visit to the embattled Italian island of Lampedusa after it received 10,000 migrants in just three days was mostly a PR mission, as the solutions being offered will only encourage more immigration, argues Polish prof. Tomasz Grosse.
Grosse, an expert on EU policy, says that the current migration crisis requires radical measures such as refusing to process the asylum claims of illegal arrivals and sending them back to where they came from rather than the plan proposed by Ursula von der Leyen, which simply encourages more illegal migrants to arrive.
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According to Polish state media TVP, Prof. Grosse calls von der Leyen’s proposal for voluntary solidarity a “traditionally ineffective method” and a repetition of old EU migration policies. That traditional method of asking other states to help out in taking the migrants is failing to put a stop to the crisis and instead simply transfers the crisis to other countries, he said.
Germany has already rejected von der Leyen’s appeal by refusing to take more migrants. France has closed its border with Italy to migrants so that the crisis does not spill over to its territory.
Grosse notes that Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is pressing the EU to focus on stopping the wave of migrants so that they do not reach Lampedusa and other ports in southern Europe. Helping Tunisia to strengthen its border patrols will not be enough, he contends.
What is necessary is to stop illegal migrants from being able to apply for asylum so that they know they will be sent back to where they came from and that their journey will have therefore been in vain.
“Europe needs to adapt the Australian approach rather than attempt to move illegal migrants from one state to another,” said the Polish expert. Prof. Grosse also observes that the people of Europe are increasingly disappointed by the EU’s response.
The academic is convinced that the present EU migration pact can only lead to more migrants attempting to come. The narrative needs to be changed in order to discourage people from making the journey.
“If the migrants from Lampedusa are transferred to other states, then the number of illegal crossings can only increase,” he concluded.