Growing concern about EU’s commitment to open borders

The New York Times reports: European Union interior ministers clashed on Monday over how to check the flow of migrants across their countries’ borders amid growing concern that the Continent’s commitment to the free movement of people within the bloc is at risk of collapse.

Some of the wealthy northern nations that are the preferred destinations of many migrants suggested that much of the solution should rest with their neighbors to the south, especially Greece, the main entry point into the European Union for refugees arriving from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan via Turkey. At a meeting here, Germany told Greece to do its “homework” to stop the flow at its borders, and Austria suggested that Greece could be excluded from the Schengen area, which allows border-free travel across much of the European Union.

Ioannis Mouzalas, a Greek minister for immigration policy, criticized the focus on his country, saying that the bloc had not made good on its pledges of more assistance in managing the flow of people — nearly 1.1 million arrived last year in the European Union — and that some European politicians were spreading “lies” about the crisis and the role of the government in Athens.

There is a “blame game against Greece,” Mr. Mouzalas said. [Continue reading…]

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