George Soros is back with a lengthy piece on how to prevent the collapse of the European Union. In an article penned for Foreign Policy titled “This Is Europe’s Last Chance to Fix Its Refugee Policy” , Soros lays out a seven point plan for rescuing Europe before it is too late – and hopefully it is not too late despite what Soros (and many others will agree) has been a “piecemeal approach”. Soros says the EU must take in hundreds of thousands of refugees a year, spend at least 30 billion euros (a minor sum he believes) among other key items to prevent the EU from falling apart.
Specifically Soros thinks the seven points below are key.
- First, the EU and the rest of the world must take in a substantial number of refugees directly from front-line countries in a secure and orderly manner, which would be far more acceptable to the public than the current disorder.
- :The EU must regain control of its borders. There is little that alienates and scares publics more than scenes of chaos
- Third, the EU needs to develop financial tools that can provide sufficient funds for the long-term challenges it faces and not limp from episode to episode.
- Fourth, the crisis must be used to build common European mechanisms for protecting borders, determining asylum claims, and relocating refugees.
- Fifth, once refugees have been recognized, there needs to be a mechanism for relocating them within Europe in an agreed way.
- Sixth, the European Union, together with the international community, must support foreign refugee-hosting countries far more generously than it currently does.
- The seventh and final pillar is that, given its aging population, Europe must eventually create an environment in which economic migration is welcome.
Soros concludes as follows:
The benefits brought by migration far outweigh the costs of integrating immigrants. Skilled economic immigrants improve productivity, generate growth, and raise the absorptive capacity of the recipient country. Different populations bring different skills, but the contributions come as much from the innovations they introduce as from their specific skills — in both their countries of origin and their countries of destination. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence for this, starting with the Huguenots’ contribution to the first industrial revolution by bringing both weaving and banking to England. All the evidence supports the conclusion that migrants have a high potential to contribute to innovation and development if they are given a chance to do so.
Pursuing these seven principles is essential in order to calm public fears, reduce chaotic flows of asylum-seekers, ensure that newcomers are fully integrated, establish mutually beneficial relations with countries in the Middle East and Africa, and meet Europe’s international humanitarian obligations.
The refugee crisis is not the only crisis Europe has to face, but it is the most pressing. And if significant progress could be made on the refugee issue, it would make the other issues — from the continuing Greek debt crisis to the fallout from Brexit to the challenge posed by Russia — easier to tackle. All the pieces need to fit together, and the chances of success remain slim. But as long as there is a strategy that might succeed, all the people who want the European Union to survive should rally behind it.
Interestingly, Soros goes back hundreds of years to give us the examples Huguenots and not fifty years to when France starting letting in migrants from Algeria and Morocco – so far the much recent plan has been a failure most would agree even before the recent terror attack in Nice. We hope the EU stays together and think a solution needs to be forged ASAP but spending 30 billion euros a year and letting in “even” 300,000 refugees a year when the social fabric is near collapse, terrorist attacks are increasing, and unemployment in many European countries is in double digits – will likely be a non starter.
Full article here.