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Intense Migratory Pressures at European Borders

With every human tragedy the question of migration to Europe returns to the front of the scene.Hundreds of immigrants mainly from Africa but also from the Middle East lose their lives by crossing the Mediterranean on makeshift boats rented at ruinous costs.Everyone has in mind the tragic deaths of 630 people trying to cross the stretch of sea between Northern-Africa and the Italian Island of Lampedusa.Italy,UK Spain and France are the countries which are the most affected by migratory pressure.And there can be little doubt that Europe's importance as a region of destination will continue to rise in the coming years.We must stress that immigration policies remain mostly a competence of the member states in the EU and are considered across the world as a matter of national sovereignty.According to the UN more than 3.000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa this year.Southern European countries are clearly on the front lines. Italy led a search and rescue operation called Mare Nostrum.This operation saved more than 100.000 people from death.But Mare Nostrum has a cost of € 9 Million a month! With more than 140.000 migrants arriving in Europe by sea so far this year, there is an urgent need for Europe to change its political orientation regarding immigration.The terrible armed conflicts in Syria,Iraq and Libya but also Eritrea and Somalia will unfortunately not be settled in the near future.Migratory pressures at European borders may even get worse.And it should be recalled that the majority of these people are not economic migrants,but people fleeing war and human rights abuses.It is obviously a very complex issue especially in tight economic and political circumstances.But one thing is certain: the current European migration policy is clearly not working.

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