September 2015: After returning home from the Czech republic, I was shocked at the events taking place in Greece, Italy and Germany. One could see months ago that this migrant crisis was a complete chaos and not sustainable in the long run. Surely, I said to myself, Europe would have to secure the border soon, for no sane leaders would continue to allow millions of illegal migrants from very violent cultures to continue to just pour into Europe with little if any vetting. I was wrong.
Shortly after, my OpEd (the pinned tweet on my Twitter account) “The V4 nations are dealing with the refugee crisis properly”, appeared in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. It layed out the dangers of Merkel’s policy and described the V4 plan to solve the crisis. Amazingly, almost a year later, the same article (with one minor change) could be written today. The point: nothing has really changed; the EU and Merkel have failed to secure the border in spite of the terror attacks in Western Europe, the rapes, the fake passports, and the team of smugglers and NGOs controlling the border in Italy. The migrants are still coming and very few have been deported as promised. We are back to square one, except 2,000,000 migrants have already arrived.
The question: Is it possible to solve the crisis with what Merkel describes as an “EU Solution”? With the current structure of the EU, I do not believe it is.
The members that comprise the EU – their values and culture – are too far apart to come up with an “EU solution”. Merkel and Hungary’s Viktor Orban are one example, and there are many more challenges ranging from vastly different economies to contrasting views on Islam and multiculturalism. However, the most glaring challenge is the vast gap that exists between the cultures and beliefs of the Mediterranean States and the V4-CEE nations that make up the central-eastern European region.
The Med Club is made up of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta and France. They demand entry for all that come and consider it immoral to secure the border. The Med Club cherishes multiculturalism and considers it intolerant to defend “European Culture”; they consider it “xenophobic” and a heresy to their God of Diversity. Their solution does not involve limits or reductions, but an endless redistribution scheme for the migrants to be shuffled to the other EU states.
The Visegrad 4 nations of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Czech republic have a completely different vision. They view securing the border as a must first step to any solution that protects Europe and helps the true war refugees. They want hard limits, reductions, and have no desire for the way of life of France or Belgium. They consider their culture unique and priceless, and are willing to fight to preserve it. They see the results of the failed multiculturalism in Western Europe and do not think Muslim migrants are a fit for their peaceful and traditional societies. Their solution is to secure the border and to decide for themselves who and how many refugees they take. They view migrant quotas as an invitation for more to come and a distraction from the real solution: a secure border.
How can there be an “EU solution” if Italy refuses to secure their border and deny entry? The migrants view this as an invitation to keep coming. However, the V4 will never accept migrant quotas, nor should they. Where will all these migrants go? Italy and Merkel are relying on migrant quotas, while the V4 advocates securing the border to stop the inflow. Neither side will compromise. Something has to give.
The EU must be broken up, it cannot function with such deeply-held contrasting beliefs. This can be done peacefully. Both regions cannot afford not to trade with each other. In fact, the level of animosity could well be reduced if separated. Both could then live with their own visions as they see fit. The Mediterranean States could continue to welcome migrants, using a redistribution scheme between themselves, instead of trying to force their vision on others.
Obviously, there would be details to work out. Italy would have to consider if their Open Border philosophy is sustainable without having Eastern Europe to wave-through migrants to. Austria would close their border with Italy, thus overwhelming Italy with migrants. Faced with this reality, Renzi may have a change of attitude, or Italians may throw him out of office.
Unless the border is secured, there will be no EU solution. The migrant crisis can be solved, but only with the breakup of the EU into smaller, less intrusive regional alliances that better reflect the values and beliefs of their people. As the EU has proven, bigger is not always better. Let the nation states of Europe solve the problem, as the Balkan states and Macedonia did in Greece without the EU’s blessing; after all, who better to tackle the issue than the nation states – with much more at stake than some vain unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.
One must never fear change or controlling one’s own destiny. The price of EU Unity is not worth the loss of one’s culture and way of life. Onward V4!