WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Anastasia Levchenko — In 2015, the US government resettled in the United States about 70,000 migrants from around the world. To help Europe, and in particular the European Union, tackle the massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and beyond, President Barack Obama announced last year his administration will resettle 85,000 refugees in 2016, including 10,000 from Syria.
"Certainly the United States has put more money on the table than many other states, and Obama has been very smart in finding the money to do that, but we need to do more both in terms of money, also in terms of ideas and leadership," Papademetriou stated on Wednesday.
The Obama administration’s proposed national budget for fiscal year 2017 seeks to assure $6.2 billion in assistance to displaced refugees around the world, reflecting an increase of only 15,000 over fiscal year 2016.
"The problem is that this is actually the last year for the president. So doing more under this presidency would be very difficult," Papademetriou noted.
If the next US administration is Republican, Papademetriou argued, there will be greater opportunities for the United Nations to take more action on resettling Syrian refugees.
"They [Republicans] have more faith and inclination to do more aggressive things," he said.
The European Union and EU-membership aspirants such as Serbia and Macedonia are currently struggling to manage a massive migrant crisis as millions flee conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The EU border agency Frontex recorded more than 1.8 million illegal border crossings into the European Union in 2015.