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German Minister: ‘Three Million Migrants Ready to Set Sail for Europe’

A minister of the German government has confessed that neither Germany nor the European Union (EU) has a real strategy of how to integrate migrants into European society, while warning that three million new migrants are preparing to “set sail for Europe.”

As Minister for European Policies for Germany, Michael Roth is the person in charge of coordinating Germany’s relations with the European Union, its policies and representatives. In an interview Wednesday with the Italian daily Il Giornale, the 46-year-old Social Democrat defended the recent EU-Turkey agreement for deporting illegal migrants back to Turkey, saying that “we have no alternative.”

“We have 3 million migrants ready to set sail for Europe and we must recognize that without Erdogan we have no ability to manage their movements,” he said. “And we have to grant him that, until now, he has been able to do with the migrants what we Europeans have been unable to do.”

Against human rights advocates who have criticized the agreement, Roth argued that Turkey “doesn’t treat migrants badly, although it could do better.”

As a Social Democrat, Roth find the rise in popularity of right-wing political parties disturbing but understandable, since the German government may have given “the impression of being fast and efficient with migrants while forgetting our electorate.”

The Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), a populist Eurosceptic party, “has gotten many votes from people who feel abandoned by the system,” Roth acknowledged.

Pressed on the failure of migrants to integrate into German society, Roth recognized that “integration is a national problem.”

“Germany can offer these people security and democracy. It is then up to the individual person individually to find their way in society,” he said.

“There is no single strategy for the integration of these people, or one model to offer,” he said.

Despite the ballooning crisis in European migration, EU migration chief Dimitris Avramopoulos has proposed that European Union nations open their borders to still more migrants.

Official recommendations from the EU Commission were sent to the European Parliament Thursday, proposing that more skilled migrants be allowed across borders, while obliging member states to accept set numbers of migrants.

The report recognizes that Europe’s migrant crisis has exposed “weaknesses” in the current Common European Asylum System, leading to a disproportionate number of migrants arriving into certain countries.

“The experience of recent years has shown that, especially in situations of mass influx along specific migratory routes, the current system places responsibility, in law, for the vast majority of asylum seekers on a limited number of individual Member States, a situation which would stretch the capacities of any member state,” the report states.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter   

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