“A 7-MEP delegation, including myself, joined a three-day Global Refugee Forum taking place in Geneva, Switzerland (16-18 December).
The Forum brings together refugees, heads of state and government, UN leaders, international institutions, development organizations, and business leaders, among others in order to discuss commitments made by the international community in the Global Compact on Refugees adopted one year ago.
I am of the opinion that the international community should focus on addressing the root causes, rather than promoting migration pathways; otherwise we will keep treating problems instead or solving them. After having participated in different panels and having met with different stakeholders, I am more convinced than ever that the only durable solution for helping people who are in genuine need, is to provide reception in the region and to work towards the stabilization of the countries of origin.
The closer the refugee stays to their home country, the better it is for the refugees. This was also addressed by several host countries in the Forum. Neighboring countries will most likely have greater cultural and linguistic similarities than states further away. This will limit integration difficulties, making it easier for refugees to contribute to the economy and society of the host country. It would also allow an easier and safer return to their home country, and of course, fewer lives will be risked crossing the Mediterranean.
At the moment, large percentages of humanitarian and development aid are being sucked away by corruption. Effective monitoring mechanisms should be put in place in order to guarantee financial aid reaches people who really need it. This way we can work towards a durable solution that benefits both refugee and the hosting country.
Rob Roos MEP
European Conservatives and Reformists
Forum voor Democratie