Europe’s Refugee Opportunity
For starters, the EU should commit to absorbing at least 500,000 asylum-seekers a year, while working to convince the rest of the world to accept an equal number. A public commitment of this magnitude should help calm the disorderly scramble for Europe. Asylum-seekers provided with a clear status and promises of safety could be induced to wait in Turkey and other frontline countries, rather than risk a dangerous Mediterranean crossing.Second, formal gateways should be established, first in Turkey, and then in Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco. Gateway countries would establish, in close cooperation with the United Nations Refugee Agency and the EU, processing centers to register asylum-seekers and assess their applications. Accepted asylum-seekers would then be placed in a queue and required to remain in the gateway country until an EU country accepts them. A safe, deliberate process of vetting refugees would quell security concerns in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.