Moria — the EU’s failed refugee policy

Published on February 1, 2021 by

The Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos has become a symbol of the failure of EU Policy. Dramatic images of a fire at the camp in September 2020 have put pressure on the EU Commission to draft a new refugee agreement.

The flaws of EU refugee policy have been known for years: asylum applications take far too long to process, only some member states accept approved refugees, and many asylum seekers who’ve been turned down can’t be sent back to their countries of origin. But who is actually responsible for the situation in Moria? Is it the EU, or individual member states that refuse to compromise? And what are the chances of finding a solution, after years of deadlock?

The makers of this documentary tracked the lives of refugees on Lesbos for a year. Living conditions in the Moria camp have long been unacceptable. Some German cities, including Bielefeld, offered help immediately after the fire. Should the camp take in new refugees? The film features interviews with supporters and critics of this policy, and with former refugees who lived at the camp.

The reporters also talked to EU officials, and politicians and experts from various countries to try to find out why this situation has dragged on for so long. They also discuss proposals for a more equitable distribution of future refugees among EU member states. For years, those countries have insisted that asylum applications be examined at their borders. That concept quite obviously failed in Moria.

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