2016 – Facing Challenges


As I begin to write this article on the evening of new year’s day, thoughts begin to spin around my mind on what lies ahead as for the future of the European Union and the thousands of immigrants and families that are trying to reach their perhaps “Dream Destination” to a stable and rewarding life.

Many countries in Europe are still trying to get out of the global economic crisis that they faced back in 2008. The immigration crisis has hit them by surprise as immigration policies in Europe are still behind and direct decisions have not been made yet. In contradiction they have been slow to react to this depressing issue. Brussels has the duty to figure out how these problems need to be tackled even if unpleasant decisions might have to be taken. Issues such as the IS, Schengen Agreement, Britain’s EU Referendum, Greece’s stability, employment rates and intake of refugees must be taken into consideration as vital consequences for Europe could emerge.

What is for sure is that the immigration crisis will not go away in 2016 with an estimated 3 million refugees could arrive in Europe by the end of the year. Every country in the Euro zone must help to ease this problem. We are living in an age where we must accept different cultures and traditions, whilst not forgetting our own values!

With Hungary closing its borders and giving a piece of its thought in the anti-immigrant campaign we can see how the EU is divided on the matter. Co-operation was an asset that the EU always specialized in but with tensions increasing especially due to the great risk taken from accepting refugees we have seen that the EU is coming near a breaking point. Convincing Eastern European leaders to accept a higher quota of refugees will be one of the main challenges.

Another challenge for Europe is the involvement in the conflict in Syria which has been one of the key influential factor in why immigrants are choosing to leave their country. The ripple effect caused by this growing problem has been tremendous. With interventions by the American and Russian camp this has made the issue more complicated and a solution cannot be seen yet.

Apart from the direct conflicts that have already led to war in Iran and Syria including also Russia and more countries the coherent problems occur in Europe where immigration takes place. So coming back to the beginning, we to start the new year with new perspectives: Getting familiar with new surroundings and the challenge the future to build acceptance by developing new society matters. Giving perspectives for a good and stable future must be the biggest priority to avoid more conflicts.

2016 is a year full of challenges that need to be faced in the best possible way. The Europe Union must find balanced solutions which accommodates everyone and even if this is easier said than done we still need to find the light at the end of the tunnel and look at this year with enthusiasm and ensuring in making it a brighter and positive year!

written by Jean Zarb

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