Concerns that the ongoing global food crisis could lead to the next European migration crisis have been expressed by EU leaders.
A number of EU interior ministers have warned that the ongoing global food crisis, which has been exacerbated by the ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as other global trade challenges, could lead to the next European migrant crisis.
Their predictions echo those of David Beasley, the head of the World Food Programme, who has previously warned European politicians that if they do not act to ease migrant shortages on the southern continent, they will face a “Hell on Earth” migrant catastrophe.
According to a Euronews story, officials from EU countries that typically bear the brunt of such crises have recently appeared to heed such warnings, reiterating the assertion that food shortages in the global south could lead to an increase in illegal African migration.
Officials have now requested that the European Union as a whole take action on the issue.
“We cannot let smugglers decide who comes to live in Europe,” Greek Interior Minister Notis Mitarachi is quoted as saying during discussions in Venice that included representatives from Italy, Cyprus, Malta, and Spain.
Meanwhile, Luciana Lamorgese, Mitarachi’s Italian colleague, emphasised the need for more repatriation agreements between Europe and African countries.
Italy already has a similar agreement with Tunisia, allowing the EU country to more quickly deport large numbers of migrants from the African country.
While EU countries that have experienced the worst of the migrant crisis beg for EU-wide action to deal with a possible future migrant crisis from Africa, those at the top of the bloc have been preoccupied with persuading African political leaders that the West is not to blame for the shortages in the first place.
Politicians such as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have claimed that Russia is completely to blame for global food shortages, claiming that Vladimir Putin’s country is the reason why Ukraine is unable to export agricultural products that most of the world depends on. Russia has reacted angrily to the allegation that its invasion of Ukraine has generated a food crisis.
Many in Africa, however, do not appear to believe this story, with African Union Chairman Macky Sall warning EU leaders that the idea that the West is to blame for food shortages “is out there,” with many on the continent finding the current problem “extremely serious and worrying.”