Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66) believes the focus should lie on a political solution to the current crisis in Iraq. Today, the European Parliament will debate about the conflict in the country. Schaake: "The situation in Iraq is very explosive and worrying. A broad political and social-economic initiative is needed to bridge the deep divide within the Iraqi society. The international community should apply pressure to make sure the different groups cooperate to solve this existential crisis and form a truly representative government. The European Union should play a larger role in trying to get the factions around the table." Europe The flow of jihadists from Europe to Iraq and Syria is increasing. According to Schaake more effective cooperation between European countries and partners like Turkey is essential. "The dangers of jihadists returning to Europe are clear and we must address them together. Involving Turkey is crucial because many jihadists travel via that country. The exchange of information needs to be improved so that we can work on prevention before young people travel to Iraq and Syria to join jihadist groups. Aside from radicalisation and terrorism, further destabilisation of the Middle East also impacts the EU in other ways, such as through refugee flows and economic recession. On top of that, the conflict has immense humanitarian consequences for significant parts of the population in Syria and Iraq." Region Schaake wants the international community to focus on the regional aspects of the problems in Iraq. Here too, the EU should be leading, says Schaake. "We must try to force a dialogue between the relevant regional players. Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia are influencing events within Iraq's borders by providing political, financial and material support to extremists. These states must be brought to the table in order to get a sustainable solution. Talks will not be able to solve all the problems at once, but currently, there is no effort at all. The EU has a strong tradition in diplomacy, we cannot leave it to the Americans to address challenges in our own backyard." Please find Ms Schaake's plenary speech on the subject here.