Refugee crisis tarnishes EU’s ‘moral superpower’

Malmo, Nov. 12, 2015: Sweden begins border checks to control migrant inflow (source: dpa)
Malmo, Nov. 12, 2015: Sweden begins border checks to control migrant inflow (source: dpa)

European leaders have long known that the main danger posed by the refugee influx is political backlash. This threat was explicitly recognized by Guenther Oettinger, Germany’s representative to the European Commission, during a press conference on December 30, 2015. “The European Union has learned to overcome crises,” he said. “But the number of unstable or populist governments is rising. That makes me worried. I see for the first time a real danger that the EU could collapse.”

The crisis that erupted when refugees swarmed onto the beaches in Greece, then headed north through the Balkans and Hungary, unleashed a wave of moral outrage in the media and presented Europe’s governments wit...

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