International Business Times quotes Vice President for European Union and Special Initiatives Frances G. Burwell on the upcoming EU refugee crisis summit and why EU countries are more focused on immediate solutions:

With hundreds of thousands of people fleeing conflict from parts of the Middle East and North Africa and adjusting their routes through the Western Balkans after Hungary closed its border with Croatia, the region has been overwhelmed. Slovenia, with a population just north of 2 million, is the latest country to be confronted with the European Union’s long-term refugee relocation policy that hasn’t dealt with the immediate pressures facing member nations. As the season transitions to colder weather, an emergency EU meeting was scheduled for Sunday, leaving the continental bloc scrambling for temporary solutions while it works toward a permanent one.

“What they are really focused on is the very, very immediate,” said Frances Burwell, the vice president for European Union and special initiatives at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, D.C. “It’s getting cold, it’s raining and they have all these people showing up and none of these countries have the capacity to answer these needs.”


“There’s a disjuncture; the things they’ve been talking about in long-term like the relocation plan…and that will help in the future,” said Burwell, of the Atlantic Council. “But the problem is right now and they don’t have the capacity to process.”

Read the full article here.