The current refugee crisis facing Europe has proven to be more than just a humanitarian tragedy; it has become a huge test for the EU’s capability in dealing with such crises.
On Monday, 22 June, there was yet another Eurogroup meeting in Brussels concerning the Greek crisis. But like many previous attempts to reach an agreement, a conclusive decision was again postponed. Meanwhile, in the Greek capital, Athens, people are anxiously waiting for an answer. It is becoming evident that Greece should not have joined the euro the time it did but it is too late to change that. Ordinary citizens suffer and the country is on the brink of collapse, or social unrest. It is clear that European elites must reach some compromise, not for the sake of SYRIZA, but for the people of Greece.
Europe’s security, just like its economy, should be integrated for greater efficiency and impact. United, Europe’s defence mechanism could deter any potential outside threat. The idea is not to merge all national armies or replace them by a pan-European one, rather to create a force that will complement and assist them in case of emergency. Hopefully Mr. Juncker’s call will find strong support from the majority of EU members. We should not wait for a crisis to come to our door to try to tackle such important issues under duress. Now is the time to lay the foundations for the future continent that we would like our children to live in.
…Apart from maintaining its single market, Europe must promote among others its cultural and historic wealth through the media, its educational system and through appropriate festivals and gatherings. The European identity, what unites us, needs to be stressed and take precedence over what divides us. This will serve everybody well in times of crisis, keeping the unity of the continent and benefiting from the accumulated strength of all EU nations. It will also help strengthen the sense of solidarity and promote equality in opportunities and living standards across the EU.