In late September 2015, online financial news daily MarketWatch, part of the Dow Jones media empire, published a think piece authored by Soros about the chaotic refugee crisis unfolding throughout Europe. Soros specifically wrote about the displaced Syrian refugees who are not likely to return home anytime soon.
Faced with an asylum chaos, Soros laid out a plan that he believes the European Union should implement for the purpose of dealing with the refugee crisis in a manner that is both humanitarian and efficient from a socioeconomic standpoint. To this effect, Soros laid out a six point plan:
1 – The European Union should realistically provide about $17,000 per year for each refugee seeking asylum for the first two years they are in their new countries. The idea is to give them some economic freedom so that they can settle in communities they believe will accept them instead of warehousing them in refugee camps.
2 – There are four million Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The European Union should also help fund the efforts of those Middle Eastern nations; otherwise, the flow of refugees will simply increase towards Western Europe.
3 – A single European agency should be created to handle refugee and asylum affairs, and a unified border guard system should also be implemented. Soros believes that the status quo of 28 separate agencies trying to work together is expensive and inefficient.
4 – Safe channels for refugees should begin from the battlefront to waypoints such as Greece and Italy. The idea is to avoid terrible situations such as boats sinking and refugees drowning as they desperately attempt to flee war zones.
5 – Once the European Union is able to implement the four points above, an international agency such as the United Nations should gather all the lessons learned for the purpose of coming up with global standards that other nations can implement. The 2015 refugee crisis in Europe could easily spread to the Americas during these times of uncertainty.
6 – The European Union cannot solve this crisis on its own. The private sector should be mobilized, starting with non-governmental organizations such as those endowed by the Open Society Foundations; the goal is to increase funding capacity while providing human and technology resources.