The European Commission will host EU leaders to discuss migration and asylum issues in an attempt to find a solution to the new wave of the refugee crisis. The announcement coincided with the World Refugee Day on 20 June. The meeting is seen in Germany as a key step for Chancellor’s Merkel’s efforts to come up with a “European solution” to asylum and refugee issues. “We are expecting to see the German proposals to resolve the refugee problem and it is expected to be presented to the affected countries this weekend,” a high-ranking Greek government commented.
Earlier this week, France and Germany agreed on the renewal of ‘Europe’s promises of security and prosperity’ and formulated the Meseberg Declaration that includes a paragraph on pursuing a pan-European approach on migration. The two countries also committed to dealing with “secondary movements” of migrants inside the EU. “Unilateral, uncoordinated action will split Europe, divide its peoples and put Schengen at risk. If Member States started to act unilaterally, this would end up in an overall increase of migration into Europe. Tackling the migration challenges effectively requires combined efforts of all Member States as well as the EU institutions,” the document reads.
At the end of last year, 68.5 million people – the equivalent of the population of France – were in need of protection and assistance as consequence of forced displacement, conflicts and violence. According to UNHCR, this is the equivalent of a person becoming displaced every two seconds. Across the world, 40 million people were internally displaced while 25.4 were refugees and 3.1 million were asylum seekers.