Hultgren, commission to examine migrant surge into Europe
Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees began pouring into Europe in 2014, and officials are seeking solutions on how to manage the situation.
As many as half of the arrivals are thought to be Syrian war refugees, and as thousands more join them every day, many of the nations in Europe's Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are struggling to manage the situation.
So what has the U.S. government done to help, and what, if anything, should it be doing that it has not?
On Tuesday, officials from the State Department, United Nations and the European Union will testify at a hearing on the refugee crisis by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission. It will commence at 2 p.m. EDT at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2200.
U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Dist. 14) is a commissioner on the bipartisan, bicameral Helsinki Commission. A live webcast will be available at http://bit.ly/1VRaf3G.
The U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the federal government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 57 countries.
The commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the U.S. House and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.
The hearing will examine such topics as the reasons for the current crisis; relevant OSCE and other European agreements, commitments and structures; the response of the OSCE, the EU and the U.S.; potential security issues related to the ability of extremists to infiltrate the refugee stream; and the potential for refugees to become victims of human trafficking.
Witnesses will include Anne Richard, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in the U.S. State Department; Shelly Pitterman, regional representative to the U.S. and Caribbean, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; David O’Sullivan, ambassador of the European Union to the U.S.; Djerdj Matkovic, ambassador of the Republic of Serbia to the U.S.; and Sean Callahan, chief operating officer, Catholic Relief Services.