Immigration is quickly shaping up to be one of the seminal issues of the Juncker commission. From the porous borders in the Mediterranean to the migrants congregating in Calais for a chance to cross the Channel, this issue directly impacts every member nation in the EU, regardless of the number of migrants or refugees in their country. Surly, it is in this vain that Jean-Claude Juncker chose to pen an editorial on this controversial subject.
While I’m generally a fan of Juncker, I can’t help but feel that this piece is far stronger in style than in substance. Beyond the flowing rhetoric of what Europe should be – grounded, fairly, in the values of the continent – Juncker does very little to explain how this issue will be solved. Although he does outline the commission’s plan, it fails to account for differing political views in the member states. In this Op-Ed, Juncker’s argument is as vaguely rooted as the “nationalists” that he decries.
I think Europe needs to adopt a policy of listening first. Listening to the needs of member states – particularly those that have been most impacted by the migrant challenge. Europe’s common values should drive the ultimate outcome, but Brussels acting in an authoritarian manner is not the answer. Neither, frankly, is the member states obstinately refusing any compromise on this subject.
Juncker is correct in saying that Europe can only succeed together – however together means all stakeholders working in unison, not merely the commission.