EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told the Wall Street Journal that the refugee crisis should be addressed globally in an interview titled “EU Wants US and Canada to Take in More Refugees.” The interview, given prior to the 71st UN General Assembly on migration in New York, focused on the refugee crisis that the EU is dealing with.
Avramopoulos told the WSJ that Europe wants more help from the United States and Canada on refugees as it is struggling with populism and xenophobia.
“They are refugees so it is a problem that has to be addressed globally. The European Union has done a lot but we are not there yet,” said Avramopoulos, who had served as foreign minister in Greece with the conservative New Democracy party in the past.
Now, as EU Commissioner he is calling for more help from across the Atlantic. “The positive response of the Canadians is showing the way. I understand that migration is a domestic issue these days in the U.S., with the election campaign. I hope after the elections we’ll find a way to cooperate with the American government on this issue,” he said, adding that the Obama administration is planning to raise the number of refugees the United States takes in by nearly 30 percent in the 2017 fiscal year starting October 1.
While presidential candidate Hillary Clinton backed a higher intake of Syrian refugees, Donald Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Referring to more than a million migrants who crossed the Mediterranean sea to make their way through Greece and the Balkans to reach northern European countries, Avramopoulos said that the problem is unprecedented for Europe. He said that the EU has learned from US border-screening systems and a similar system is being discussed for Europe.