EU refugee response requires 'holistic approach'

Christian Leffler, deputy secretary-general for economic and global issues at the European Union External Action Service, talks with Devex associate editor Richard Jones in Brussels, Belgium.

With the European Agenda on Migration focused on issues such as securing borders, reformed asylum and legal migration policies, and helping align European Union member state return practices, how well are the various actors at the European Commission working together in practice?

Christian Leffler, deputy secretary-general for economic and global issues at the European Union External Action Service, told Devex that the commission is trying “at every step to take a holistic approach.”

Chief among the concerns of EU member states and partner institutions, he said, is addressing the root causes of migration and meeting the immediate needs of the more than 7 million people displaced by the protracted crisis in Syria.

Watch the above video for more, including Leffler’s take on how to ensure the focus of official development assistance remains on eradicating poverty within developing countries.

Across Borders is a monthlong online conversation hosted by Devex and partners — World Vision, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department, the U.S. nonprofit partner of the International Organization for Migration and United Nations Volunteers — to analyze and amplify the discussion on global migration and current refugee crises through the lens of global security, development cooperation and humanitarian aid work, and more. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation on social media tagging @devex and #AcrossBorders.

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About the author

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    Molly Anders

    Molly Anders is a U.K. Correspondent for Devex. Based in London, she reports on development finance trends with a focus on British and European institutions. She is especially interested in evidence-based development and women’s economic empowerment, as well as innovative financing for the protection of migrants and refugees. Molly is a former Fulbright Scholar and studied Arabic in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco.