Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister has issued a stark warning that the ongoing migrant crisis could break up the European Union (EU).
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn (pictured above), said that the migrant crisis could lead to the reintroduction of border controls between EU member states and disintegration of the EU itself, reports German television news channel N24.
Mr Asselborn, whose country currently holds the rotational Presidency of the Council of the EU, drew attention to a contrast in approaches from member states. He claims that Germany and most EU countries understand the application of the 1951 Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, but that some members fail to adopt properly the values of the organisation which he said are not limited to tangible treaty rights.
“The glue that holds us together,” he said, “is still the culture of human values. And this misguided nationalism can lead to actual war.”
Apparently rejecting voters’ growing discontent with migrant policy across the EU, Mr Asselborn accused certain politicians and political parties of exploiting the issue of migration and stoking fears.
He said this is the time that resolve needs to be strengthened so the “EU’s values are not thrown overboard” adding that he fears the outcome of the “very, very critical situation” in the Balkans if Germany and Sweden now close their doors to migrants.
The speed of collapse of the EU, predicts Mr Asselborn, can be “incredibly fast” when isolation beats solidarity between member states. In particular he sees the end of the borderless Schengen Area — named after the town in Luxembourg where the agreement governing it was signed in 1985 — coming within months.
For Mr Asselborn, who for some time was European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s deputy when he was Prime Minister of Luxembourg, the Schengen Agreement is the EU’s “greatest achievement”.
“The risk is clearly there,” he said, “if we get no European solution to this migrant crisis, when more and more countries believe that they can only go about this thing independently, then Schengen is dead.”