Seeking the Political Holy Grail

Two issues dominated the international political agenda during the last months: The migration flow and its influence on the Schengen zone as well as the terrorist threats we are facing all over Europe these days.

No ideal and hundred percent effective solutions!

Looking back to the recent European Council decisions aiming at managing the migrant crisis, EUROMIL put it straight that it was not in a position to comment on or criticise these agreements and decisions. Everyone needs to be fair and admit that resolving this crisis is not a walk in the park. “From the beginning” Donald Tusk stated recently at the European Parliament “I have thought it is a dangerous illusion to believe that there exists an ideal and one-hundred-percent effective solution. I want to say to all the seekers of the political Holy Grail: you will never find it. Convenient and easy solutions are hard to find in politics, and in this case, they are virtually impossible. What we are faced with is a perpetual, tenuous and multi-dimensional effort. In fact, something like a never-ending story.”

It has been emphasized a lot lately that the only way to stop irregular migration is by solving the root causes of this crisis, namely by stabilising the situation in the countries of origin. Nobody will really doubt this but it cannot be used as an alibi not to do anything at all. Europe and above all the member states cannot close their eyes using this as an argument. But I also believe that the message of the European Council President is correct when stressing that Europe is not holding the golden keys to solving all the problems of the world.

However, EUROMIL expresses its solidarity with the thousands of refugees that are risking their own and their families’ lives to come to Europe in the context of a great humanitarian crisis. We want to convey our deep sorrow to the thousands of people that are experiencing a deterioration of their universal rights and dignity. Europe’s founding principles and values are being put to the test. EUROMIL calls on the European States to refrain from using their Armed Forces against refugees and respect and protect their Human Rights.

Use of military resources?

The current situation also influences without any doubt the functioning of our armed forces and its personnel. The challenges for our armed forces are increasing and defence forces personnel feel the growing pressure on their shoulders. In several European countries armed forces personnel is being used to support other authorities with tasks related to the migration flow but  deliver also security and policing support in order to prevent further  terrorist attacks. Without going into a debate on the general use of military personnel for some of these very specific tasks, I think that a discussion on both the legal aspects of homeland security missions and on the ethical aspects of counter-terrorism is needed.

Moreover, one cannot deny that the use of military resources for these extra tasks influences (or will influence on short term) the operational ability and functioning of some of our armed forces. These kinds of missions are acceptable and workable for a limited period of time, but they need to be debated and regulated for the future, especially when the tasks become structural.

Emmanuel Jacob, President EUROMIL

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