Despite the largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the World War II looming over Europe, Brussels still shows little sign of a coordinated EU response. The block is continuously struggling to respond to the escalating crisis that has resulted in more than 3,000 deaths since the beginning of this year.
While Germany and France are calling for a burden-sharing system to distribute migrants across the EU, Hungary’s outspoken Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, has made it clear that his country does not want ‘a large number of Muslim people’. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s chief of diplomacy, said that Europe’s refugee crisis is “here to stay” and the European nations must coordinate and act together to handle it effectively. “In three months’ time, it will be other Member States under the focus, and in six months, it could be others again,” she said.
Germany, which has been pushing for a quota system for sharing out migrants between EU Member States, said that together with Austria, they were expecting more refugees to arrive from Hungary after Budapest relaxed restrictions on migrants’ travel. Before the past weekend started, thousands had crossed the Hungarian-Austrian border. Vienna announced that it was not planning to put a limit on the number of migrants entering.
Many of the migrants arriving in Austria continued on their way to Munich where they were greeted by the locals. Only on Saturday (5 September) about 7,000 migrants arrived. After their arrival, migrants were registered and received food and clothing. The German government also reminded that the law requiring refugees to seek asylum in the EU country in which they first arrive is “still valid and we expect other EU members to stick to them”. Berlin, however, also made an exception to the law when it allowed Syrian asylum seekers to register in Germany regardless of the EU country in which they first entered.