In an article published on Friday, 28 August, in the New York Times, Steven Erlanger and Alison Smale discuss how the increasing number of deaths among refugees and migrants desperately trying to reach Europe — such as the 71 people who suffocated in a truck in Austria and another 150 people who drowned off Libya this week — has drawn stark attention, and criticism, to the EU’s deeply inadequate and scattered response to increasing numbers of seeking asylum in Europe.
They spoke extensively to Professor Alexander Betts, who argued for greater responsibility sharing among European nations in order to handle the movement of refugees entering the EU. “While Europe is squabbling, people are dying,” he expressed in the article. “For the first time in its history, the E.U. is facing a massive influx of refugees from outside the region, and the E.U. asylum and immigration framework is poorly adapted for it.”
Front-line states like Greece, Italy and now Austria and Hungary are “overwhelmed and increasingly unwilling to take more responsibility,” Betts said. “Some European states are failing to keep to international law, and there needs to be a more equitable sharing of responsibility.”