“The new hard-headed approach crystallised with the EU-Africa trust fund in November 2015, when European leaders offered an initial €2bn to help deport unwanted migrants and prevent people from leaving in the first place… as well as helping migrants stranded in north Africa return home on a voluntary basis.”
Editor’s Note: Where have all the migrants and refugees gone? In 2015 we were shocked by the hundreds of thousands of migrants, especially Syrian refugees fleeing war, crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey, primarily. The pressure was such that southern EU states could hardly contain them and a huge deluge began to make a determined march towards Germany after Angela Merkel made it clear German would accept one million.
Less generous were other EU nations, including Ireland.
But the raging torrent of 2015 became a fast flowing river in 2016. However, throughout 2017 the current has diminished considerably and we are now dealing with, yes, an ongoing crisis, but by comparison, a tributary.
The crisis, nevertheless, hasn’t gone away. Simply put, the European Union has paid big bucks to entice key North African countries to stymie the flow. And it is cruel. Not only does it choke the hopes and aspirations of people trying to seek a better life, mainly for their children, but women and children have become victims of brutality and sexual exploitation.
The Guardian newspaper has, today (31 October 2017) announced that it is teaming up with five major European newspapers: Politiken, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Pais and La Stampa, to investigate what is happening to the migrants and refugees who are being blocked from trying to reach Europe. Over the coming week they will report on their findings and the SMA Communications Centre will keep our readers fully appraised.
Meantime, you can read the Guardians announcement on their new migrant and refugee series: ‘How Europe exported its refugee crisis to North Africa’ by clicking here.