Things have changed.
It doesn´t work anymore to feel sorry about the news on the telly of people in Syria being bombed out of their homes or tortured by Isis.
It doesn´t work anymore saying we should help them where they are, in the refugee camps set up in the area.
It´s no good having a go at Greece and Italy for not organising reception of refugees in a dignified way.
It doesn´t help accusing the Italians och Greeks for – on the sly – letting refugees slip across the border, moving up north, creating problems for every country further north…
Making us send them back south – as the Dublin convention handily lets us, allowing us to still feel good about ourselves – we´re simply following the rules, right?
None of that does us any good anymore.
Those days are gone.
Here´s what´s new:
They´re here now.
The Syrians have taken their destiny into their own hands, they simply up and left the refugee camps.
They would not be stopped by teargas, barbed wires or long lines of police. They just kept walking.
And so, they are here now.
Gladly letting Italy, Greece and before then Spain, deal with the growing numbers of refugees simly because they geographcally happen to be at the frontline has worked well for the rest of Europe.
Happy days – but they are over.
Angela Merkel didn´t create this situation by saying that they are welcome in Germany.
The Italians or Greeks are not to blame for not stopping them moving north. Nor are the Croatians, Serbs or Hungarians.
What can you do?
These are determined people, not willing to accept the role of victim that we had assigned them, not willing to go with status quo.
Because things have changed so profoundly, the EU must change its policies.
This is not about (German) bullying or twisting anybody´s (East European) arm.
Let´s start by admitting that the situation urgently needs a common European solution.
The issue is simply to big to handle for any single member state.
(That´s the very definition of when an area can not be a national competence anymore but must be harmonised.)
Secondly, the Dublin convention and sending everybody back to the country of first admission is – and has long been – a rubbish policy.
That has to go.
Thirdly, compulsory quotas – a stupid idea? Won´t work?
Say that´s why you are against it. Not at all because you are too selfish to want to open your door for people in distress.
Fine, then you will compensate those that are opening their doors.
And that must be compulsory.
Because the refugees are a European issue.
The whole idea of a European Union is to pull together.
It may come as a bit of a shock to some countries that (after having accepted the help from the EU for a couple of decades) they are not the poorest anymore, are actually quite well off and that this means it is their turn to give.
Were you only in the EU to gain from it?
Get out, then.
Or grow up and deal with it.
People need rescuing.
We are going to rescue them simply because we can.
Not because Angela Merkel says so.