George Soros is famously said on Bloomberg Business that it is more difficult to change the world than it is to make money. Money is something that you can measure in dollars and cents, but change comes progressively and it is much harder to quantify. George Soros founded the Open Societies Foundation to promote open societies, critical thinking, and to hold governments accountable. His financial success gives him more freedom to analyze and to take on such big challenges. That’s why I was so thrilled to see his six-point plan for the current Syrian refugee crisis affecting the European Union published in MarketWatch.
There’s a lot to say about the plan but I think it’s brilliance is in bringing the European Union together under one umbrella of law. After all, the Open Societies Foundation promotes the rule of law.
The problem with immigration law in the European Union is that it is split. It sort of defeats the idea of an union. 26 countries have come together to form what is known as the Shengen area through an agreement called the Shengen agreement. This agreement essentially makes all 26 countries one country when it comes to immigration. Once anybody enters through any border one of the 26 countries they are free to roam around all 25 other countries without any security checks.
Obviously if you are dealing with a massive refugee crisis, this agreement becomes problematic. Citizens of each of the countries are starting to fear for their security because of lax border controls in other countries. Even though this fear is mostly unfounded, it is real and it threatens to tear the European Union apart.
George Soros is calling for the European Union to make one border patrol agency, a coalition of border patrol agents from each country working under one unified law. Not only will this then the fear of the citizens of Europe, it will save money and allow for the better flow of refugees, tourists, business visitors and immigrants. Because right now each country is enforcing its own laws and the sporadic mishmash of enforcement is incredibly ineffective and inefficient, wasting money. It also allows for horrific images of treatment at certain borders within Europe as refugees flow across the continent.
He also calls for a standard treatment for refugees to be enforced by this agency. That way citizens and refugees alike can know what to expect during the process, stemming confusion and fear. This alone will calm the nerves of everyone involved so that people can think with a clear head in order to save the European Union and to treat the refugees as humanely as possible.
I personally wish I had more time to think about these issues, but I am glad that someone like Forbes billionaire George Soros is thinking about them. He has the powerful voice that many country leaders just might listen to and his philanthropy work really tells me that he is concerned for all sides of the issue. But this particular recommendation is something I have been thinking of for quite a while.