The mounting catastrophe of Syrian refugees in Europe is one part the same old same old, "not in my backyard," but with several new wrinkles. One is the complete paralysis of the European Union as a government able to take emergency action. The humanitarian crisis is happening right now in real time, but the EU operates by consensus if not unanimity and it operates with agonizing slowness. Several nations don't want anything to do with refugees. Hungary's brutal response is more candid and ugly than others, but in this story there are few heroes. One hero is the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven. Sweden has been more generous to refugees and immigrants than most nations, and now faces a backlash.
David Cameron committed in January 2013 to hold an in/out referendum about the EU by the end of 2017 if his party won an outright majority. Maybe he was not sure he would need to deliver it. Now he is forced to. Can this be turned into an opportunity for Europe to revisit some critical issues, or will the Eurocratic immobilism prevail?