Is the EU a deliberate target of the migrants crisis ?

The debate is opened, since a while, over the surge, during 2015 and after, in the number of migrants arriving specially from Syria to Europe in the context of a terrible civil war, started 5 years earlier, in which some European and Western powers have been militarily involved. Rumours have spread concerning a scheme behind this situation. During the last days, two positions, regarding this question, have been clearly stated among high ranking officials in the Western camp. They may define diverging political lines.

This morning, on the Today Programme of BBC Radio 4, the former Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, David Miliband, commented with a more diplomatic stance the assertion given by the US General Philip Breedlove, Senior Commander of NATO forces in Europe, 2 days ago, concerning a possible beneficiary of the migrants crisis in Europe.

On March the 2nd, US General Philip Breedlove said that “Russia and Syria are deliberately using migration as an aggressive strategy towards Europe”. He added that “they were  “weaponising” migration to destabilise and undermine the continent” as it has been reported in this news from the BBC.

US General Philip Breedlove
(source : By NATO [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

David Miliband gives a more reasonable reading (listen to at 1:13:50) of the same events which are unfolding since the Russian offensive in Syria starting during last September. He says that :

“I think it’s a stretch to say that the Russians intervened in Syria in order to cause troubles for Europeans. I think it’s far more plausible to say that it’s a happy by-product for them of an intervention that was undertaken last September, the air campaign they started. They intervened because their client the President Assad was in trouble because they wanted to reassert a global role for Russia, and also they were struggling in Ukraine. I think it’s a far more plausible explanation for why they intervened originally, Now they see Europe in turmoil as a result of the migration refugee crisis

David Miliband
(source : By Foreign and Commonwealth Office [OGL (, via Wikimedia Commons)

In both cases, the idea of a political union between the member states in danger is validated but what separates the two approaches is, in fine, the prescription of action to take towards the power which is stronger to see the European Union weaker. The scenario of a European continent brought back to a collection of rival countries in which the Federation of Russia would play a much bigger and central role, if not the prominent, given its weight and size, remains a strong possibility and a very likely political theme, as it started to appear during the evolution of the Ukrainian crisis in 2013-4 relatively to the signing of an Agreement of Association between Ukraine and the EU.

Cover picture : Sukhoi combat plane targeting an enemy position in Syria
source : [CC BY 4.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

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