Sangeetha was invited to discuss the catastrophe of Europe’s management of asylum seekers and refugees as part of CGTN’s ‘Forgotten Frontier’ television special on 17th October 2019.
Sangeetha commended positive examples of European town policies that encouraged pathways to integration and forged better access to the labour market for asylum seekers and refugees. However these small-scale positive examples, such as that of spear-headed by the mayor of Pessat-Villeneuve in France, must be contrasted against the incoherent and inhumane EU-wide migration management policies that have created archipelagos of island prisons in the Mediterranean, perpetuated inhumane living conditions and treated the most vulnerable people with abject indignity.
Sangeetha explained that whilst policy makers are quick to brand the current in-flow of non European nationals as an unmanageable ‘crisis’ and use this hyperbole to justify increased protectionism and securitisation, the real crisis is the failed EU policy architecture. Policy makers need to finally accept and approach this issue as a developmental problem, not a humanitarian crisis. We are now four years into considering this issue – there is no longer any justification for short-term funding providing emergency tents and blankets. This is myopic and inhumane. Policies need to be adapted to consider the longer-term developmental needs of those who have arrived in Europe, and the socio-economic needs of the societies in which they live.