Soros says imposed quotas are not the solution to the refugee crisis


Billionaire philanthropist George Soros advocates for a coherent, voluntary approach to handling Europeʼs migrant crisis, saying that the current course is encouraging divisive actions, like Hungary’s upcoming referendum opposing refugee quotas, in a story published Tuesday in Foreign Policy.

Soros (pictured) calls for European countries to agree to housing 300,000 refugees in Europe every year as a way to end squabbling over quotas and responsibility for refugees.

In the article, entitled “This is Europe’s last chance to fix its refugee policy,” Soros warns that the migrant crisis, and the Brexit vote “have reinforced xenophobic, nationalist movements across the continent. They will try to win a series of key votes in the coming year — including national elections in France, the Netherlands, and Germany in 2017, a referendum in Hungary on EU refugee policy on October 2, a rerun of the Austrian presidential election on the same day, and a constitutional referendum in Italy in October or November of this year.”

Members of the Hungarian government have criticized Soros for lending assistance to refugees, who are not wanted in Hungary according to some officials. The government has planned the October 2 referendum, which will allow citizens to say they oppose refugee quotas and they support Hungary’s political efforts to stop the quotas.

Soros writes that he also sees problems with quotas.

He says Europe’s “current piecemeal response to the crisis” is flawed for several reasons, including that “it is not voluntary: It is trying to impose quotas that many member states strenuously oppose and requires refugees to take up residence in countries where they are not welcome and where they do not want to go while returning to Turkey others who reached Europe by irregular means.”

Soros’s detailed proposal for responding to the crisis is based on seven pillars: taking in more refugees, regaining control of borders, finding adequate funding for the crisis, creating a common European policy on borders and granting asylum, coming to an agreement on how to share refugees around Europe, providing better financial support for countries that host refugees, and creating an environment where economic refugees are welcomed as a means to address the need for new workers as the European population ages.

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