In this video, Gert Westerveen, the Strasbourg representative of the United Nation’s UNHCR refugee agency, discusses the current migration crisis in Europe.
“European states are not failing refugees but they are failing each other,” he reveals. “European states have not prepared themselves properly. They have left it to the border states and now they are overtaken and there is a need for additional efforts.
“The states have missed an opportunity earlier to set up a proper system and now there is a scramble to get things better.”
Video: Europe’s migration crisis
Video: Thorbjørn Jagland – “People to people solidarity” is influencing states’ response to Europe’s migration crisis
Westerveen argues that Europe should have been better prepared to cope with the demands of the more than 350,000 who have crossed the Mediterranean into the region this year.
In an in-depth interview, the former constitutional law professor also claims that Europe should introduce a quota system to ensure a better distribution of refugees and asylum seekers.
In an article in the United Kingdom ‘Independent’ newspaper yesterday, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, urged the organisation’s 28 European Union nations to “rediscover the bloc’s humanitarian values and offer sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of refugees – or face long-lasting consequences.”
Jagland declared: “If one starts to close the borders then it may be the beginning of the end of open borders in Europe, which are the basis for the internal market, and then you will get the re-emergence of nationalism,” he told The Independent. “It is a dangerous scenario if we are not able to cope with this on a common European basis. It is a crucial moment now.”