EU summit and “controlled centers” for migrants: Déjà vu, bad excuse to do nothing

by , under Enrique Tessieri

My great grandfather left Europe for South America in the late nineteenth century for political reasons. I returned three generations later, and he probably wonders if I’m mad. Europe’s issues with racism, xenophobic scapegoating, and, eventually, war-mongering are entrenched deep in European soil waiting to bud. 

There is only one word that comes to mind after reading the decision on Friday by EU leaders to establish “controlled centers” for asylum seekers and migrants: déjà vu. If such centers  built in countries like Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Niger, and on European soil, they will only expose our hypocrisy and lack of foresight and humanity. 

It is like subcontracting injustice to countries that are experts at creating such conditions.

Europe also forgets its history and racist legacy, which force millions to flee today their homes in other lands.

The question we should be asking is what is the end game of the EU and its answer to the “migrant problem?” What is the end-game of the whole economic region that is doing everything possible to keep Europe Christian and white?

The answer is in our history and the pyramid of hate.



The decision by the EU reveals clearer than ever our leaders’ prejudices and suspicion of non-Christians and non-EU citizens who are not white.

If the EU summit’s vaguely-worded conclusions should give us hope, they do the opposite.

There are serious concerns about the new plan.

Iverna McGowan, director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office, said in a statement: “Plans to confine people who do reach Europe’s shores to “controlled” centers are alarming. This flimsy euphemism cannot must not dim our sensitives to the fact that EU leaders are moving towards a policy of detention for people who come to Europe seeking safety. A policy that if put into practice would be a far cry from the EU’s founding principles of solidarity and respect for human rights.”

But isn’t all of this a powerful whiff of historic déjà vu? It is another ineffective step towards solving the problem.

Instead of creating these already doomed-to-fail “controlled centers,” why not tackle the root of the problem directly?

  • Procclaim and enforce a common immigration policy based on fairness and human rights;
  • Central and Northern European countries can no longer wash their hands of the problem and leave it up to countries like Italy, Greece, Spain, and Malta to handle the challenge by themselves;
  • Apologize and offer compensation for the slave trade and the colonialism that continues to rob countries of their future and livelihood;
  • Stop teaching white history at European schools but one based on inclusiveness, cultural and ethnic diversity. In other words, everyone irrespective of his background should enjoy the same civil rights;
  • Changing nothing and sticking your head in the sand like now, Europe will end up embroiled in strife and new wars.

Since these suggestions are unrealistic in the context of today’s Europe, matters are bound to get worse.