In the summer of 2015, images of the hundreds of thousands of refugees arriving on Europe’s shores dominated the front pages of European newspapers.
Journalists from every major publication were themselves migrating daily to new flashpoints, border fences or makeshift camps – chasing the latest scoop or story. Alongside this blanket media coverage came political urgency.
Heads of state and government met on an almost monthly basis to discuss the issue. However, as soon as the stories began disappearing from the front pages so did the political will to do something.
Despite the receding media coverage, the issue has not gone way.
While the numbers arriving in Greece have declined since the middle of 2015, the numbers arriving across the Mediterranean to Italy have increased markedly in the last two to three years.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants that have been rescued by the Italian navy and are now waiting in reception centres or being housed by local authorities, many of which are stretched to their limits.
Despite warnings from the Italian government, most EU member state continue to ignore the situation.
The newly elected president in France, Emmanuel Macron, has refused to open French ports to migrants and, in Austria, the foreign minister and defence minister even threatened to send the army to the Italian border to stop migrants crossing.
We are reaching another tipping point. Earlier this month we called for an extraordinary European Council summit to discuss migration before the summer break. National governments replied that this could wait till the autumn. This is simply not acceptable.
The most frustrating issue is that it does not need to be this way.
We are a continent of 500 million people and one of the richest regions of the planet – the arrival of a few hundred thousand refugees and migrants is manageable if we organize ourselves effectively.
Read more: EU needs a lasting solution to the refugee crisis