Developments in the Refugee and Migration crisis are sweeping Europe like a storm. EU members states have taken the papers of Conclusions of the EU Leaders Summit last Friday and cleaned their shoes on Sunday.
Austria imposed a strict admission quotas on refugees entries, plans to move soldiers to its borders. The so-called Visegrad Group countries, -Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic- zealously work in the underground to proceed to unofficial expulsion of Greece from the Schengen and close their borders to Greece and to whoever comes from there.
Austria’s decision had the effect that also Serbia closed its borders for Afghan refugees and the same did FYROM. This domino effect created an “asphyxiation” in Greece with 5,000 refugees stranded in its northern border to FYROM, while the thousands of refugees and migrants arriving to the port of Piraeus from the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea cannot move to the north and consequently leave Greece.
As if this is not enough, Austria has invited Foreign and Interior ministers of so-called western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia – to a Conference on Migration in Vienna. Aim is to cut the Balkan Route for the thousands of people seeking a safe heaven in Europe. Greece was not invited to the Conference. The Greek Foreign Ministry officially complained to Austria today speaking of that “unilateral actions that target Greece’s borders.”
At the same time, Turkey raises objections to NATO’s operational plan and is close to torpedo the whole mission that was supposed to stem the refugees flow to Europe.
But the worst from all actions pointing to a mismanagement and mishandling of the crisis and EU members states not respecting the EU decisions is the dramatic rise of xenophobia and blind nationalism in the European countries. These two ghosts of the past that sank Europe in blood have nothing to do with “the values and the spirit of a united Europe” as the EU officials keep telling us – and do nothing, literally nothing to stop them.
The leadership of the European Commission, the European Union and the European Parliament, the many European Commissioners cannot pretend that they do not see the ticking bomb in Central and Eastern Europe.
They see and they are paralyzed. They do nothing. They are unable to deal with the challenges of the 21st century. On the contrary, they trigger xenophobia and nationalism again and again by not forcing member states to implement its decisions. Do the EU institutions have tools to enforce such measures? Of course, they do have: they knew to implement them very well on Greece by cutting EU structural funds for almost two years.
Should this dangerous bomb explode, it will be too late to pick up the pieces not only for the countries themselves but also for the European Union. Drowned in mountains of papers, bureaucracy and regulations the European Union has turned into a slow-paced institution without any authority over its member states apart maybe from imposing uniform standard forms for cucumber and toilet flushes.
The tragic irony is that those countries that were raising their forefinger in old school master style and pointed to Greece screaming that “Greece was not committed to agreements and did not implemented them,” it’s now these countries that they break the agreements they have agreed upon.
This is not a United Europe anymore, this is a Phony Europe. And this creature has nothing to do with the United Europe many of us used to believed in and support with all our heart.