EU leaders approve plan to take in 120,000 refugees from Syria. However, this isn’t enough as the OECD predicts about one million refugees from Syria, Africa and Asia fleeing from war and persecution.
In a majority vote, EU leaders have agreed European countries would share portions of the refugee numbers.
According to EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos, it was about time EU showed what it meant with responsibility and solidarity.
The decision comes at a crucial time where the refugee crisis revealed deep cracks in the European bloc with plenty of countries disagreeing with each other, particularly with refugee quotas and safeguarding borders.
The 120,000 refugee numbers are dwarfed by Germany’s own efforts to safeguard about 800,000 refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it a point to exclude those seeking asylum for their country’s poor economic performance.
The OECD predicts about one million refugees. However, estimates show about 350,000 to 450,000 guaranteed to reach Europe in the coming months.
The spur of refugee efforts come after the photo of a dead Syrian toddler washed up on the beaches of a Turkish resort became viral and struck the ire of plenty of individuals in the Internet.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said dealing with Syrian refugees is Germany’s problem. He also said he is protecting the Christian culture against Muslims.
Orban, a hardline prime minister of Hungary, attacked the EU asylum quotas being an invitation. He said the migrants don’t want to stay in Hungary and wish to head for Germany, making the problem a German one.
Orban made the statement after hundreds of refugees and migrants stormed trains heading to Western Europe through hungary. The Budapest Keleti line was packed with migrants, many of which fought amongst themselves to board the train.
“Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for the whole of Europe,” Orban wrote in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Europe’s response is madness. We must acknowledge that the European Union’s misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation.”
“Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims,” he said. “This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? There is no alternative, and we have no option but to defend our borders.”
Many around the world may well be appalled by Orban’s views, and other European nations are not appearing to share his obvious distrust of the ethnic ‘other’. The UK is among many others who have recently agreed to take in more Syrian refugees following much publicised struggles of Syrian refugees, in particular that of children dying in the dangerous journey to get to Europe’s safety from Syria.