The European Union, Migrants, and Refugees

Since the world is commemorating the 400th anniversary of the birth of Shakespeare, it was not surprising that Frans Timmermans, vice-president of the European Commission, should on April 23, 2016, quote the Bard of Avon. Timmermans, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Donald Tusk, president of the EU Council, was in southern Turkey to inaugurate the new EU aid program for Syrians in the country.

Visiting a new refugee camp near the Turkish-Syrian border, before visiting a child protection center, Timmermans, correctly quoted Portia’s speech on mercy in the Merchant of Venice, “It blesses the one that gives and it blesses the one who takes,” but he was incorrect in his conclusion that “in that sense the Turkish people are really blessed.”