In Europe, migrants attempting to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea are continuously facing difficulties due to unstable boats, bad weather conditions, and even being abandoned by their smugglers. The migrants are risking their lives to hopefully live in Europe, which has stability that most of the conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East lack.

Even though migrants’ boats going through the Mediterranean Sea are reportedly launch from Northern Africa, some migrants have traveled far to reach Europe. There are Syrian refugees, people from sub-Saharan Africa, and others from war torn conflict zones (France 24 5/5/2015). While the EU leadership and the Italian government as well as other non-governmental organizations are executing plans to rescue and provide humanitarian support for the migrants, the continuous flow of people fleeing to Europe is posed to develop into a greater problem for all EU member states.

The nationalist parties are projected to object any plan to allow these migrants stay in Europe permanently, and while providing care for the migrants is arguably morally right to do, there is also the question of how the EU member states will be able to cope with the rising cost of taking care of the refugees. There is also the concern by the general population on whether the migrants would integrate into the European society culturally.

All the debate on the short term solution or policy on handling these migrants, however, does miss a larger picture. The long term solution to handle the migrant problem is to identify and eliminate the reason why migrants flee to Europe in the first place. The EU leadership needs to evaluate its foreign policy in terms of restabilizing conflict zones that generates the greatest number of migrants.

It should be remembered that the migrants are not fleeing from their homes by choice. If there are daily conflicts within their towns and there is no safe area to flee within their own country, then these people naturally would flee to another area, where they can settle their lives. Europe, which has a relatively culturally and demographically diverse society compared to Africa and the Middle East, is an attractive area for migrants to flee.

EU needs to shift its foreign policy focus on restabilization in conflict zones abroad. This is a difficult task given the threat of terrorist groups and incompetent governments, but in order to tackle the migrant problem in the long term, the EU leadership as well as other world partners needs to guarantee societal and economic stability within the conflict regions. The way this policy would manifest to action might be controversial, given that there is a possibility of an foreign occupancy in conflict regions. However, unless restabilization does not occur in conflict zones, more people will be fleeing.


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