ABU DHABI, 25th December 2015 (WAM) — Contrary to the course advocated by some European countries, compassion rather than coercion should be the way forward in tackling this great humanitarian tragedy unfolding before us every day, while the root causes of such mass influx should be handled with equal urgency as well, a local UAE newspaper said Friday.

“The refugee crisis is a global humanitarian disaster and though all roads seem to lead only to Europe for the mass migrants, the global community needs to share the burden in equal measure,” the Gulf News said in an editorial comment on the refugee crisis.

One million-plus refugees came from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan to Europe, the paper reported. “They came from parts of north Africa. Aggressive coast-guard patrols, border blockades, fences with razor wires or the turbulent depths of the Mediterranean – nothing seemed to deter them. And their perilous journeys show no sign of abating, despite more than 400 refugees drowning off the Italian coast this year.”

The paper said that as the number of refugees keep growing, the European Union (EU) now faces bigger challenges.

Brussels, it noted, has not been particularly successful in goading EU member states into even a semblance of a common approach on refugees.

“The balancing act between nationalist aspirations, security concerns and a pan-European outlook has often resulted in EU states handing out a raw deal to the thousands of desperate souls assembled at their doorsteps,” the English-language paper added.

“While Europe’s borders were initially shut for them, it was a welcome change in stance when Germany opened its doors – and inspired others to do the same.”

The paper also noted that Chancellor Angela Merkel, the paper said, was hailed globally for her gesture. There were disruptions and bitter wranglings – Hungary’s xenophobic campaign sticks out prominently, but the European Commission’s raft of initiatives to tackle the crisis was laudable, it said.