European Union leaders want to reinforce their controversial “fortress Europe” policies by clamping down even harder on inward migration. This reveals a deep and self-defeating disconnect between the 27-nation bloc’s internal actions and its international aspirations.
The EU’s self-image is that of a benign power and a force for global good. European leaders spend a lot of time telling the world about the virtues of “European values”. There is even an EU commissioner whose sole task it is to promote the “European way of life”. Other countries are constantly taken to task, often through the imposition of sanctions, for their failure to align with international human rights standards.