In case you haven’t heard, hundreds of migrants are drowning in the Mediterranean trying to enter Europe and the EU is proposing to deal with this crisis by establishing a migrant quota system.
It aims to require all 28 member states to equally share the intake of hundreds of thousands of migrants that are landing on the shores Italy, Greece and other southern European nations. As it stands, the think is that larger states like Britain and Germany don’t think it’s fair that they have to bear the burden of accepting most of the asylum applications and eastern European states like Estonia, Slovakia and Romania aren’t taking in as many as they could.
(Germany received 200,000 last year alone)
This plan is going to face fierce opposition, especially from eastern European nations that don’t take in a high number of migrants anyway.
Another proposal on the table, according to The Guardian, calls for the use force against migrant trafficking networks in Libya. If approved, the plan would be commanded by Italy and 10 EU nations, including England, Spain and France, would participate. EU military vessels would enter Libyan waters and intercept trafficker boats filled with migrants, forcing them to return to Libya. The proposal also OK vessels to destroy shops before they leave Libyan shores.
Libya, of course, is against the use of force proposal.
The quota system is not that bad of an idea but I am completely against using military force to repel migrant boats. Before I give my analysis, let me start off by saying that I’m aware that Syrians account for many of the people attempting to enter Europe and deserve as much refuge as other migrants. But, for this piece, I am focusing my argument specifically on what I think the EU owes Africa. Also, most of the migrants are coming from Africa.
Let’s take a look at the quota sharing plan from the perspective that at least 10 European countries have some colonial history in Africa. The French colonized at least 21 African nations and Britain has roughly the same number under its belt.
I’m sure neither country put a cap on the number of countries it decided to violently absorb into its empires.
German soldiers killed at least 65,000 people of the Herero tribe in Namibia, in 1904, after they fought back against colonial rule. The attack is considered a genocide which the German government acknowledges but refuses to pay reparations for. Yet, it has the nerve to complain about receiving 200,000 asylum applications last year? Oh cry me a blood-filled river of tears of the tens of thousands of murdered Namibians who had the nerve to fight back against their white occupiers.
Then we have South Africa, which the British pillaged of its robust diamond supply and the Boars, descendants of the Dutch (or Netherlands), ruled barbarically through its Apartheid system.
The least the EU can do is offer asylum to migrants from Africa, given that some of its member states colonized large parts of the continent and benefitted financially as a result. But doing so would work against its colonialist behavior. Europe used Africa for its own gain, leaving ethnic conflict, genocides, massacres and financial instability in its wake. It never had any intention of growing a heart and helping the nations it conquered.
It is interesting that some EU member states want to “share” the “burden” of migrants trying to enter its borders, given several of its member state’s blood-thirsty history in the continent. All countries need to take in as many asylum seekers as they are financially able to welcome.
Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, and other non-colonial states should take in as many asylum seekers as their budgets can handle, too. Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, is against the quota sharing idea, arguing on state radio Friday that “the idea that somebody allows some refugees in their own country and then distributes them to other member states is mad and unfair.”
No, neither Hungry nor other former Communist-bloc nations colonized African, but since they decided to join a white supremacist political and economic system, which is what the EU is, they need to suck up the burden of its past.
I get that a country like Hungary, a country of 1 million, can’t take in 200,000 migrants but it needs to take up it’s share. Not sure what that share is but Orban needs to accept that fact that being part of the EU means sharing the burden of its colonial history
As for using the military to deal with migrants, how cruel can you get?
For starters, naval experts told the BBC that force rarely works. Destroying trafficker boats before they leave Libya won’t end illegal crossings because they are cheap to make and very easy to replace. Trafficker networks also aren’t centralized in any one location so there is no “target spot” a military offensive can hit and make the problem go away for good. Then there is the strong possibility of civilian life being lost in military strikes.
The bottom line is that people won’t stop trying to enter Europe illegally.
“The root cause of people getting on rickety boats or paying smugglers in the first place is that they have been legally barred from travelling by any other means,” John Lee from the action group, Open Borders, told the BBC in April. “If EU countries let these people buy a plane ticket in the first place, you wouldn’t have the sort of deadly chaos we’re seeing now in the Mediterranean.”
But the current anti-immigration climate in Europe means that most citizens would fiercely resist any proposal that allows mass numbers of migrants to obtain legal residency. Anti-immigrant Parties out of Denmark, the United Kingdom and France won a significant number of seats in the European parliament last May. In Germany, anti-immigrant group, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, is gaining traction and evoking fear among non-ethnic Germans, according to a January report by the Washington Post.
I just find it ironic that so many EU residents are fearful of immigrants when its nations brutalized other countries for decades or more. The challenge of dealing with the migrant crisis is not so much an immigration problem as it is a moral one.
Europe owes Africa. A lot.
European leaders, especially Germany and Britain, have been resistant to offering African nations anything that resembles reparations. France paid reparations to slave owners to make up for the loss of income from the slave trade when the country ended the practice in 1848.
Descendants of slavery and colonialism got nothing. Extending asylum opportunities to as many people it can take in is the very least Europe can do.
But isn’t ironic that many of the rickety boats washing up on Europe’s borders are overflowing with black Africans? Malcolm X would likely remind Europe that its “crisis” is nothing more than its colonial chickens coming home to roost.