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UN asks Europe to take on Syrian Refugees... Europe Drags Feet

Two Syrian children pose in front of their makeshift tent in the Jordanian desert.
Two Syrian children pose in front of their makeshift tent in the Jordanian desert.Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

There are more than 3 million Syrian refugees spread across Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey and counting. Reuters reports that these countries are at saturation point and cannot handle any more refugees, thus the UN is asking Europe to bare some of the load.

European countries have paid heavy lip service to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian civil war and have committed millions in humanitarian aid to displaced refugees. However Europe has been dragging its feet with regards to granting asylum to Syrians. Countries like Sweden and Germany have even offered asylum to a paltry 123,000 or so Syrian refugees representing a 4% drop in the bucket of total refugees. Countries like Greece, Bulgaria, and Spain have flat-out rejected Syrian Asylum seekers while Russia has gone so far as to send back several asylum seekers back to Syria (and possibly to their deaths).

Europe has been dragging its feet regarding Syrian refugees due to misleading media headlines and politicians' claims that a "flood" of Syrian refugees was about to crash onto Europe's shores. Not all European politicians are against opening the doors to more Syrian refugees. European Parliament member and Co-Chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, Hélène Flautre, noted that she is not proud of Europe's inaction in a recent interview with syrianrefugees.eu.

"Only 4% of Syrian refugees are in Europe, primarily in Germany and other Northern countries, such as Sweden. So we ask neighbouring countries to open their borders, but we don’t do the same? There is a word for this: egoism. And we shouldn’t bask in the glory of having 53% of total humanitarian aid [for Syria]. This is only an 11 million euro difference from what a country such as Turkey has been providing since the beginning of the conflict. No glory there either."

The UN is expecting a much larger influx of asylum seekers from a civil war that has already internally displaced more than 6.5 million souls. Souls who may soon decide to abandon what seems to be a sinking ship. The UN has requested that Europe take on at least 100,000 more refugees to slightly ease the crisis. Europe responded by offering to take in just over 31,000.

What do you think? Should Europe take on more Syrian refugees? Comment below.