EU leaders must toughen response to Mediterranean crisis

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The EU is finally waking up to the desperate crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and tomorrow’s extraordinary Council summit is a step towards dealing with its consequences, writes Mirjam van Reisen.

Dr Mirjam van Reisen is Professor of International Social Responsibility at Tilburg University, Director of Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA), a Member of the Dutch Government Council on International Affairs and Chair of the Development Cooperation Commission.

The European Council is expected to formulate a coherent European response to the continuing humanitarian disaster in the Mediterranean on April 23. The tragic deaths of more than 1,000 men, women and children as well as the recognition that the situation is spiralling out of control, seem to have finally alerted Europe to the scale of the crisis. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission, along with her staff, deserve commendation for their determination and commitment to get things moving.

The European Council will work on the results of the 10-point plan of immediate measures agreed by European Foreign and Interior Ministers. Although European member states are notoriously poor at respecting any of the decisions made and commitments given, one can only hope that these measures will now be implemented as a matter of urgency.

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