UK Prime Minister David Cameron will hold an emergency meeting (Reuters) of his government's security committee amid an influx of migrants seeking entry into the country. Thousands have attempted to cross (Deutsche Welle) the Channel Tunnel into the UK from France's port city of Calais this week. An estimated five thousand migrants, primarily from the Middle East and North Africa, live in makeshift camps in Calais, and at least nine people have died (Politico) trying to cross into the UK over the past six weeks. Earlier this week, Hungary said that a fence (AP) to curb migrants entering from Serbia would be completed by August 31. Tens of thousands of migrants have reached the EU through entry points in Greece, Italy, and Hungary. The UK has refused to participate in an EU relocation plan to alleviate the burden of migration across the twenty-eight-member bloc.
"The world has changed. The relative power of Europe has slipped still faster than that of the US, and with it the capacity to fix problems in its neighbourhood. That is not to say it can abdicate responsibility. The EU still has the tools—economic, political and military—to promote order beyond its borders, sometimes on its own, more often as a convening power. The Calais crisis is just one more a lesson in the costs of hiding under the bedcovers," writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times.
"The political rhetoric that surrounds these migrants makes it harder to understand why they take such journeys. Often when government ministers are called on to comment, they will try to make a distinction between refugees (good) and 'economic migrants' (bad). But a refugee needs to think about more than mere survival—like the rest of us, they’re still faced with the question of how to live," writes Daniel Trilling in the Guardian.
"Faced with this rapidly expanding crisis, the European Union has reacted as it often does: slowly, burdened by the lack of a common immigration and asylum policy. A few leaders in Brussels seem to have understood the scale of this massive movement of people and the challenges it poses to Europe’s identity as well as to its ideals of solidarity and shared human values," writes Sylvie Kauffman in the New York Times.
CFR-Daily News Brief