Donald Tusk, president of the European Union (EU) Council, made a cameo appearance at the G-7 summit going on in Ise Shima, Japan, to offer some remarks about the migrant crisis confronting the EU. (The Group of Seven, or G-7, is a bloc of some of the world's most industrialized nations).
Here is a key portion of his remarks:
We are aware that it is because of geography that the most responsibility is and will continue to be placed on Europe. However, we would also like the global community to show solidarity and recognise the fact that this is a global crisis. Therefore, we will seek the support of our G7 partners in three dimensions.
First, to commit to increasing global assistance so that immediate and long term needs of refugees and host communities are met. The international community should acknowledge that when Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan assist refugees, they are in fact providing a global public good. And this public good must be financed by the global community.
Second, that the G7 encourages international financial institutions and other donors to raise their assistance. In this regard the EU funds for Syria, Africa and Turkey, along with the work of the European Investment Bank serve as a role model for all of us.
Third, that the G7 encourages the establishment of resettlement schemes and other legal forms of migration all around the world. As you know Europe is doing a lot and we are happy to share our experiences. But the world has been confronted with the highest number of refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons since the Second World War. This is why more action is needed to make legal channels of migration possible. Those who criticise us should rather think how to increase their assistance because what Europe provides is already massive.
One suspects that, without naming our country, the United States was the primary focus of his remarks. Of course, he blithely overlooks several facts:
- Our country already accepts more immigrants for permanent resettlement annually than the rest of the world combined;
- Our refugee and asylee programs are significantly more robust than those of most of Europe;
- The United States is the most generous foreign aid donor in the world;
- Much of the migrant crisis the EU faces was provoked by the ill-considered statements of Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that Germany would accept migrants without limitation; and
- The migrant crisis confronting the EU has been both continued and exacerbated by their shockingly ineffectual response to date.
Then there is that pesky question of our own multiple migrant crises on the southern border (see here and here ). I don't remember the EU or any other G-7 member stepping in to help us out with that by offering to take a few thousand Central American or Cuban arrivals. Hmmm.