Yesterday was an historic day for the EU- the first mass return of 'refugees' from the EU to a (hastily declared) 'safe' but unattractive country (Turkey) which has contracted a treaty with the EU to accept them, oiled along with inducements for the State of Turkey. The 202 returned had declined to make claims for asylum. 130 were from Pakistan, and others from Iraq, Iran, Morocco and other countries. Another 2800 asylum seekers have remained on Lesbos in order to pursue their claim individually through whatever process the Greek authorities can set up for such vast numbers (1 million last year).
Migrants returned to Turkey from Greece under EU deal - BBC News
In compensation the first selected Syrian refugees have been flown to Germany from refugee camps in Turkey- their number capped at 72000 per year.
EU asylum laws have apparently not been changed, but the principles have been distorted. The only hope for 'success' of the policy is that a 'culture of expectation' is being changed throughout many Asian and African countries, so that millions are less confident that irregular travel to Europe will have a personally good outcome.
Comment: It has been necessary 'in the end' (but actually, we're nowhere near the end) to recognise (as should have been done all along) the special position of the Syrian refugees; but much, much more should be done to stabilise huge populations in the Third World which see little reason to stay at home. Some of them are:
- shelter in a European country should be temporary (for the duration of the crisis) not permanent
- asylum should be for that presenting persecuted individual, not automatically for his entire family
- university fees should not be 'paid' but funded as loans with an expectation of being repaid
- legal challenges to a government decision to refuse asylum should be heard in a safe country outside europe
- the countries producing bona fide refugees should be getting comprehensively thumped by smart sanctions
- the countries producing economic migrants should be getting effective help to relocate economic activity eg agriculture from Europe to those countries
- foreign policies (intervention etc) by European countries should consider their likely destabilising effect upon vulnerable populations
( I have not been able to think up a way to protect those vulnerable in our own society from direct competition for subsidised social housing. The concept of such housing probably needs rethought.)