The asylum issue has become a showdown for Europe. Interior Minister Seehofer against Chancellor Merkel, Germany together with Spain and France against the Visegrád group of states, Italy against all others, reinstating national borders against European integration, limiting the immigration of foreigners against open systems.
But while the solution to the asylum issue is important, it is just one detail of a much larger issue: the role of Europe in a interlinked global society.
At present, however, the asylum question blocks economic migration. And at the same time, blocked economic migration prevents a solution to the asylum issue.
Increasing migration pressure
Most Africans do not push to Europe because they are afraid for their lives, but for their hope for a better life. They are not classical “refugees”. They are pushing because in many African countries the economy is aspiring, more and more people are getting out of extreme poverty, they can afford travel costs, and above all, because all of a sudden new travel and communication tools do exist. In short, Africans are pushing to Europe because they are becoming less and less poor.
The less poverty, the more migration!
And not the other way around, as almost all our current concepts and policies assume.
This means that migration pressure on Europe will increase. That is part of our interlinked global society. – How can we deal with it?
Currently Europe is trying to cope with immigration through the asylum system. This has created a vicious cycle:
The more people come to Europe and seek asylum, the more overloaded public administrations become, the longer the procedures take, the more people with or without a positive asylum decision remain in Europe, the more people depart to Europe, and so on and so forth.
This self-reinforcing cycle has given rise to another one in society and politics:
Many people feel a loss of control in our society, politicians who promise simple solutions are becoming more popular and get to power, national unilateralism is on the rise, EU-wide solutions are not coming to fruition, national solutions are not working, the perceived loss of control increases, and so on and so forth.
“The [asylum] system is broken,” says the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.
A solution can only be found outside the asylum system.
I think, it lies in a forward looking migration policy between African and European countries.
Only then, the asylum system can be unloaded and really affected people be protected.
And only then, opportunities can be perceived which lie in closer cooperation between African and European countries. In the moment, nobody is talking about these anymore.
Immerse ourselves in modern Africa
To recognize this, we must immerse ourselves in modern, innovative Africa.
That’s also one reason why we’re organizing Learning Journeys to Silicon Savannah, Nairobi. On September 24-27, 2018. And then again on January 28-31, 2019.
And Global Innovation Expert seminars in African countries.
In between, further asylum summits will happen in Austria, Germany and/or Brussels. Let’s hope that the big picture comes into focus again.