Refugee Crisis in Europe Part I
In the summer of 2015, the media image in Norway and in Europe became more and more marked by reports of the growing refugee crisis. The pictures eventually became many of the thousands of refugees who came to Greek and Italian holiday islands and continued on to the Greek and Italian mainland and from there to the rest of Europe. The way these masses have migrated in and out of the European continent and challenged the existing border regime in Europe has led many to talk about a new migration.
- How extensive is the refugee flow to Europe?
- What challenges and opportunities lie in the flow of refugees and other migrants?
- Does the flow of refugees also have anything to do with security?
- How does the EU seek to solve the influx of refugees?
The refugee crisis has been thoroughly addressed in previous editions of HHD . This text is therefore concentrated on a related sub-theme – namely how the crisis can help to change the great framework for cooperation on the European continent .
Most refugees arriving in Europe come from areas marked by war and conflict . Many of them therefore meet formal requirements for protection . But with so many of them coming in a short time, Europe’s capacity to tackle this great humanitarian challenge is about to explode. This crisis is forcing short-term solutions.
At the same time, it also forces European decision-makers to think more long-term about how the EU can and must adapt to the new situation. The EU as a whole and many of the EU countries today face both short-term and long-term challenges related to immigration. Some of them need to be discussed in connection with the ongoing refugee crisis. However, many of them have relatively little to do with this crisis.
2: Short- and long-term challenges
The biggest short-term challenge is how to cope with today’s human flow. Hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the EU’s external and several internal borders – many without the necessary documents. Everyone invokes the right to protection by referring to areas affected by war and humanitarian disasters. At the same time, the EU’s capacity to cope with this current is collapsing – and many believe that it has already collapsed. The current has acquired crisis-like dimensions. The crisis has clearly shown that neither the EU as a whole nor individual countries, especially the most vulnerable countries, are able to manage and protect their external borders in a sound manner.
At the same time, the crisis has also shown a lack of political will and the ability to align the EU and the member states’ national policies in this important field. It has demonstrated that both external and internal borders in the EU are impossible to control. This has probably contributed to more – and not fewer – trying, and still trying, to get into the EU area. At the same time, the massive influx has seemed like a call to many criminal networks that see opportunities to take a financial stand on this crisis. In other words, the crisis has shown that the European legal order did not work in one of its most important fields – namely the protection of EU borders. Fortress Europe, which many had dreamed of getting to, could thus be stormed and captured.
The crisis and its development have also contributed to doubts about two other important EU projects – the Schengen Agreement on EU Border Cooperation and the Dublin Agreement, which regulate how certain EU countries will deal with refugees who have already been registered in other EU countries. country. According to the rules, this will be the first EU country they come to. Here, first-line countries in southern and eastern Europe – such as Italy and Greece – have been so alone and congested that in many cases they have only allowed refugees to move further north.
In other words , the crisis has revealed many weak points in the EU’s migration policy , undermined the EU’s international reputation, contributed to increased levels of conflict within the EU and in the EU’s relations with neighboring countries, weakened EU cohesion and fueled critical voices and growing EU skepticism within the EU. .
According to TOPB2BWEBSITES, the EU’s migration policy is both about immigration from third countries and about human migration within the EU. When it comes to immigration from third countries, the EU has many ways of dealing with this field. It’s about
- immigration of people with special qualifications demanded by the EU,
- family reunion
- protection of persons in need.
The latter field in particular is important, because the EU looks at itself and is perceived by others as an organization founded on a very strong liberal and democratic value base with a focus on universal human rights, among other things. This makes it almost politically impossible for the EU to reject people seeking protection – even when they come in such large numbers that it undermines the EU’s political and technical ability to live up to the enormous expectations these people have of liberal Europe.
The case is further compounded by the fact that mobility between EU countries is regulated both by directives, laws and regulations that deal with migration-related issues and by directives on the free movement of capital, services and labor in the EU. This makes the whole migration field a complicated policy field within the EU and has further contributed to the crisis seeming impossible to handle. In addition, many fear that the crisis, combined with other economic and political factors – such as the UK’s desire to renegotiate membership terms – could further contribute to weakening EU cohesion.
3: How is the EU trying to tackle this challenge?
The EU’s migration and border policy has been put to the test in the last two years. The EU has been forced to react to what is happening in the surrounding countries and which is challenging the EU politically. The first phase of the refugee crisis occurred at the same time as the EU was working to establish a new EU Commission, which would have the overall responsibility for tackling the crisis.
When the new Commission took office in November 2014, the responsibility for coordinating EU migration policy was delegated to one of the Commissioners. But the EU and the new Commission were quickly overwhelmed by the course of events because the number of refugees arriving grew so sharply. On 13 May 2015, the European Commission therefore presented its European Agenda for Migration , which will help the EU to cope with both the ongoing crisis and formulate a long-term migration policy.