EU refugee response requires 'holistic approach'

By Molly Anders 14 March 2016

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.

About the author

Molly anders 400x400%2520%25281%2529
Molly Andersmollyanders_dev

Molly is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in London, she covers U.K. foreign aid and trends in international development. She draws on her experience covering aid legislation and the USAID implementer community in Washington, D.C., as well as her time as a Fulbright Fellow and development practitioner in the Middle East to develop stories with insider analysis.


Join the Discussion