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    Syrian refugees and migrants along a railway line as they try to cross from Serbia into Hungary near Horgos on September 1, 2015

    Whole World Bears Responsibility for Refugee Crisis in EU

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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)

    Responsibility for the refugee crisis in Europe lies with the whole of the international community, which has failed so far to find a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, analysts told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — The European Union is currently facing a major refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of migrants attempting to find a safe haven in Europe, mainly fleeing crisis-torn regions in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The ongoing Syrian Civil War is one of the main conflicts that the asylum seekers are trying to escape from.

    Collective Failure

    "It is not just European failing in Syria, it is the failing that the international community shares with Europe. It is a failing of P5 [the P5+1 group], the United States and Russia, it is a failing of the regional actors and many others," Daniel Levy, the head of the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told Sputnik.

    Levy noted that in comparison to what Syria and its neighboring countries were facing at the moment, the number of refugees arriving in Europe was only "a tiny reflection" of the overall humanitarian catastrophe. There are millions of internally displaced people in Syria, 1.8 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, 1.2 million in Lebanon and nearly a million in Jordan.

    Still Most Desired Destination

    Despite all the economic problems that the European Union has suffered recently, it remains the most attractive destination for those thousands of asylum seekers who dream of crossing the Mediterranean.

    "If people can escape, Europe is first where they want to be saved," Levy said.

    In this context, it should be a priority for everyone involved to work out a common and speedy response to the problem.

    "The European mistake is further downstream, i.e. the impossibility of EU countries to agree on an equitable policy of redistributing refugees. This is now a priority objective. Also the international community should agree to set up transit camps both in EU countries (like Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia) and outside (especially Turkey, Serbia, and Niger)," Marc Pierini, a visiting scholar on the Middle East at Carnegie Europe, told Sputnik.

    Europe is currently divided over the refugee crisis, with some countries pressing for mandatory quotas to relocate migrants, while other EU states are reluctant to share the burden of accepting a high numbers of asylum seekers.

    At the same time, Europe itself should be more proactive in protecting its own interests. In Syria, there are more foreign fighters from Europe than from the United States or other countries.

    "Europe should take more action – maybe doing more in talking with the Gulf states, talking to Iran and Turkey and different Syrian factions, both opposition and the government, and not waiting for America," Levy said.

    Only Diplomacy Needed

    When it comes to finding the roots of the ongoing turmoil, a common mistake is to criticize the Obama administration or Brussels for not being resolute enough to put an end to the Syrian conflict but more military action would have just aggravated the situation, the European Council on Foreign Relations analyst explained.

    "I think we should be doing more diplomatically… Now it is the time to increase our diplomatic effort," Levy said.

    Over 340,000 refugees and migrants are estimated by the European Union's border agency Frontex to have illegally crossed the bloc's external borders between January and July 2015. The number is three times higher than during the same period in 2014.

    According to UN estimates, since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, 7.6 million people have been internally displaced and another four million people are living as refugees outside the country.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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