EU interior ministers gathered in Stockholm to discuss the thorny issue of illegal immigration.
Most agreed that something has to done, but what is yet to be thrashed out. However, EU Justice Commissioner Jacques Barrot believes the EU should provide safe haven for those suffering persecution. “The EU must provide asylum for those under threat. No matter what the crisis with its history Europe must welcome those persecuted with open arms.” Every year thousands of people from Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean and its the Mediterranean states which are in the front line. They have repeatedly called for other EU states to shoulder some of the burden. The Greek Interior Minister Prokopios Pavlopoulos claims that: “Greece’s problems are Europe’s problems, we do not consider them just Greece’s problems. A problem exists with illegal immigration because European borders are not being protected, Greece’s borders are European borders.” Others believe the bloc should be working with the migrants countries of origin to reduce the number of people wishing to leave their homeland.