As the refugee crisis in Europe worsens, new political divisions have emerged across the continent with several member states trading blame on how to cope with the swelling numbers of people arriving from war-torn countries.
We have hard divisions within Europe on internal policies, and I have warned not only interior ministers but leaders of European member states that this is weakening our unity and our credibility in our external actions.
Germany, which hosts the largest number of refugees, has been hailed as a model for the rest of Europe after offering to take in 800,000 asylum seekers.
Cheering crowds have greeted refugees in cities and towns, as buses teeming with tired men, women and children have been welcomed by locals.
In the other countries of the 28-member EU bloc, however, refugees have been subject to degrading and inhumane treatment at detention camps likened to concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Earlier this month, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius criticised Hungary for its decision to erect a 175km razor-wire fence along its border, saying the move was not in line with “European values”.
As thousands continue to embark on the perilous, dangerous and costly journey to reach safety in Europe, on this week’s Talk to Al Jazeera we speak to Federica Mogherini, the woman in charge of the European Union’s foreign policy, on how the region plans to address the current crisis.
“We [in Europe] are united in offering humanitarian help [to refugees],” Mogherini tells Al Jazeera’s James Bays as she shrugs off talks of division as being exaggerated. “We are the first donor in the region, we are united in our cooperation with third-world countries, especially with Africa, on developing economic alternatives for its youth; we are united on climate change, which is not unconnected with the phenomenon of refugees and migration; and we are united on diplomacy.”
In the interview, Mogherini talks about the refugee crisis, how it is the result of the war in Syria, and what the EU plans to do to end the conflict.
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