Ziad sits on the cool steps by the harbour. He gazes distantly and a thousand thoughts go through the mind of the young Tunisian. A deafening silence. Almost without breath. Just now he wanted to say something, but the silence would stile his every word. He knew he wasn‘t welcome here. He did not want to back to the refugee camp, in that small, barren room with the nine others from his country who, like he, had shared in the hope of a decent life in Europe. The reality was different: Here the people had built a democratic fortress of human rights, which would grant him no entry. His future remains uncertain. According to UNHCR data, 43.4 million people are, like this young Tunisian, refugees, forced to reside under the protection of other countries, including our own, due to political persecution or violence in their own homeland. But what does it actually mean to be a refugee? Does the EU not also have a duty to help people who are not protected by the international community? And how far does the EU show solidarity with the rest of the world? It is a fact that if you have no oficial nationality, you have next to no rights. Nobody would voluntarily swap their life with that of a refugee. The role of the EU is nevertheless limited, in that only ten of the 27 countries in the EU meet their international humanitarian obligation by accepting refugees. We are considered as the ideal of a successful democracy, the principle of which, according t“oG ruanrtdicglees e7tz9”, lpawar acgarna pnhe v3e r obfe tchhea nGgeerdm. aIns it not a shame, that an international model of democracy does not feel up to the challenge of helping refugees in need? We recognise human rights in our constitution, but are not in a position to apply this in practice when it comes to ensuring that a refugee beneits from a mini- mum level of human dignity. “oGf ethrme wanoyrl dm”,u dset rnidoet tbheocsoem ine Gtheer mwaenlfya rweh oof iocpe – pose asylum. On the contrary, a strong country, which is what I consider Germany and many other countries in the EU, beneits from growth. We should, as the EU, be acting globally to offer unstable countries help, before they collap- se. So it was that nobody noticed the political grievances in Libya, despite the fact that Italy was the country with the closest economic relationship to Libya and France constantly encouraged diplomatic ties with the Arab country. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, therefore, when new waves of refugees cause chaos on the Italian island of Lampedusa. “Freedom is not primarily a matter of privileges, but a matter of duties”, bemoaned the French author Albert Camus. Perhaps this quote should provide the theme at the next EU summit, before more time is spent on new inancial support mechanisms for banks.