Monday, 6/4/2020 | 1:09 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

EU needs to offer work visas to bring migration under control

As migration is now viewed as an almost existential crisis for the European Union, it can be easy to forget that the EU developed a centralised policy on the matter only in the past two years. Previously, it was a matter for member states, and it is their mistakes that are now shaping all forms of response.

But the relative newness of migration policymaking at the EU level also means there is an opportunity to move on from the misconceptions that drove member states’ actions and improve the tragic outcomes.

Efforts to close irregular channels into the EU will work only if they are accompanied by an expansion of regular, legal channels. In practice this means EU member states putting a greater number of work visas on the table in discussions with the countries from which people are migrating and through which they are transiting.

The increased flows of refugees into Europe are driven by various events – from the war in Syria to numerous other conflicts stretching as far as Afghanistan – that are not the EU’s fault in any direct sense. Without these events, the flows of people into Europe would certainly be different – and, most likely, lower.

Europe’s current policy mix in response to refugee flows imposes immense suffering on those trying to flee poverty, war and discrimination while doing little to make European citizens more secure.