Waves of migrants crossing the border between Croatia and Hungary under the eyes of the Hungarian soldiers on Sept. 22. Photo: Danilo Balducci/Zuma Press
Today’s European edition of the Wall Street Journal has an op-ed by a quartet of national sovereignty political leaders: Mateo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League, Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front, Heinz- Christian Strache of Austria’s Freedom Party and Geert Wilders of Holland’s Freedom Party. The title of their opinion article, “Restoring Europe’s Borders and Sovereign Nations,” sends a resounding message of rising concerns and anxieties of the body polities in their respective countries and others in Eastern Europe. That is reflected in daily scenes of a borderless Europe invaded by massive waves of thousands of largely Muslim refugees and illegal economic migrants that has placed an enormous fiscal burden and security problems vetting the throngs for suspected terrorists. They suggest rejection of the Schengen system and the reinstitution of national immigration and border control across Europe to protect cultural identities in the face of EU determination to accommodate diversity. Diversity occasioned by the hundreds of thousands of refugees and economic migrants from poorer countries in the Balkans, Syria and Iraq in the Middle East, South Asia, Eastern and Sub-Sahara Africa. Yesterday, an EU summit in Brussels reached an agreement to fund a 3 Billion Euro Turkish operation for Syrian refugee camps to stem the flood of asylum seekers and migrants by keeping them in country. That comes at the price of a Faustian bargain: the quid pro quo of admitting Islamist Turkey, as an EU member. The prospects of the latter occurring are dim given the tyranny and human rights violations of the Erdogan government teetering on the brink of a snap election on November 1st. Last weekend’s twin bombings at a peace rally in Ankara are illustrative of internal problems that might send a different wave of asylum seekers to the EU.
Here is what the quartet of national sovereignty political leaders from Italy, France, Austria and the Netherlands wrote.