Migrant Ghettos To Become 'A Nuclear Bomb In The Future': EU Official Warns
Migrant ghettos could become a “nuclear bomb” of unrest unless the European Union tackles the problem soon, a top EU official said.
The European Union is pumping more money into countries in eastern and southern Europe to reduce inequality across the union, and the union has two more years to spend $428 billion on the so-called cohesion policy.
"Social integration will be crucial in the years to come," European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation this week at the World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"If we allow ghettos or segregation of migrants, this will become a nuclear bomb in the future," the Romanian politician said at the world's largest conference dedicated to cities.
The EU asylum system witnessed a setback in 2015 when million refugees and migrants arrived by sea, overflowing Greece and Italy. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic denied entry of about another million.
The fallout ended up in courtrooms and has weakened the union's unity, which has also spoiled other policy areas.
Ex-communist states are still ignoring other European nation’s requests to accept refugees who have thronged the frontline nations like Greece and Germany.
Crețu, who oversees the cohesion policy, cited the Greek island of Chios to point out that the clash between residents and migrants only put the mayors in troubles.
The tiny island of Chios has been burdened with overwhelming numbers of refugees and migrants.
Crețu said the EU now has changed its approach to measure inequality. The new approach would help the policy makers focus at the most important areas.
"GDP per capita is not very accurate because it doesn't take into account these pockets of poverty unemployment," she elaborated.
Despite being neglected in many parts of Eastern Europe, the cohesion policy isn’t a complete failure. It has successfully strengthened traditional infrastructure across the EU.
"We have still people who are dying because of the quality of water, because the networks were built 40-50 years ago," Crețu added.
Photo credit: European Union