Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

EU brought the refugee crisis upon itself

By Wang Yiwei (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-13 08:07

The "Arab Spring" has proved to be an endless winter of civil wars and terrorism, and Washington refuses to clean the mess it has created in the region.

Since the outbreak of the civil war in Syria more than four years ago, the West has been bent on overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. At one time, it even sought to get the "job" done by the Islamic State group. Yet this enemy's enemy has turned out to be an even bigger enemy of the West.

The West-engineered "color revolutions" in the Middle East and North Africa, which were part of Washington's "rebalancing to Asia" strategy, are the biggest reason for the mess that we see in the region today. And as a close ally of the US and a committed upholder of the "democratization" process, the EU can only blame itself for leaving some Arab countries in chaos by supporting the US' attempts to spread "democracy" in the region, which forced hundreds of thousands of desperate people to seek refuge in Europe.

Of course, what has essentially forced these people to flee their homes is the search for safety and security that they believe the EU states can provide. But this could be a mirage, because many citizens within the EU bloc still do not enjoy that "luxury". This makes the refugee crisis a wake-up call to the EU that it has to rise and fall with its neighbors as one community of shared destiny.

The EU's pride in its philanthropy and in guaranteeing freedom and equality to its citizens too is in crisis. The beleaguered bloc can no longer relive its glorious past as the center of the world, provide "cradle-to-grave" welfare to its people (as much as it is obliged to) and, more importantly, check the advance of the marauding IS group. To a point, the overly keen EU advocates of political correctness are also responsible for the massive refugee crisis Europe faces today.

The author is director of the Center for European Union Studies at Renmin University of China.

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