European commissioner says 250 million potential migrants pose century's key global challenge

European commissioner says 250 million potential migrants pose century's key global challenge
15 September 2016

There are around 250-260 million potential migrants in the world many of whom would like to come to Europe, posing the key challenge of the 21st century, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn has said.

"The world is facing many very complex challenges. And migration is definitely a global challenge. Migration will probably be the biggest challenge for the world in the 21st century. I am not talking about refugees, I am talking about migrants. Here we are talking about 25-260 million potential migrants around the world. Many of them would certainly like to come to Europe," he said in his opening remarks at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Yalta European Strategy (YES).

The European commissioner suggested the policy of isolation and alienation was wrong and in order to solve the problem of migration in Europe, EU members must show unity and cooperate with other countries of the world.

"It is not easy in a world where people believe that the best protection is to build fences, walls… I think we all share an opinion that it is not the best answer, quite the opposite, we have to reach out, we have to find allies, we have to cooperate and reach out to other parts of the world," Hahn said.

He added that apart from migration, security issues and the UK's decision to leave the EU also posed extremely important challenges for Europe.

"I am pretty sure that we are able to come out of this crisis and these challenges much stronger than it is currently the case," he concluded.

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Aleksander Kwasniewski
Aleksander Kwasniewski
President of Poland (1995-2005), Chairman of the Board of YES, 8th YES Annual Meeting, 2011
«To remain the global leader, the European Union should enlarge»