With much of Europe desperately devising new ways to turn away refugees from war-torn homelands, the European Commission (E.C.) is trying a new tack, scrapping pleas for compassion in favor of threatening to hit reluctant countries where it hurts the most — the pocketbook.
Citing a need for members of the European Union to take in their fair share of migrants, the E.C. is proposing stiff sanctions, including a fine of €250,000 per refused claimant, a figure that could potentially break the bank of many of the unwilling.
What’s more, the money would go to those countries that are doing their part, in hope of reducing the burden to those currently taking in more refugees than they can realistically afford to support.
Several Central European nations that earlier opted out of a refugee-redistribution scheme have officially objected to this change in tactics, insisting that no precedent in E.U. law allows for sanctions against those who choose to safeguard their borders.
Fact is the E.C. may soon find its latest grand plan no more effective than the last, a deal struck with Turkey in March to repatriate citizens who had crossed the Aegean Sea into Greece.
But the expectation is that it will keep trying to hit on a local solution to a global crisis that already has some of its members snapping at each other with such ferocity that the future of both the E.C. and the EU may be in jeopardy.