Europe constantly faces the influx of refugees from third countries, but this event took on a threatening character in recent months. The aggravation of this situation was a reason for this event in some counties of the Middle East and North Africa. A well-planned migration chaos was not a sudden invasion in Europe. It was only a regular, tactical operation in the way of a radical restructuring of Europe. The radical restructuring worked on the dismantling of nation states and aimed to strengthen the European Union. The European Union's leadership represented interests of non-citizens, and also major European transnational business that integrated in supranational structures. The European refugee crisis began in early 2015 in connection with the increasing flow of refugees and illegal migrants in the European Union (EU) from North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. The European Union was not ready to accept and distribute them (The Economist Newspaper).
European Refugee Crisis: Causes
The main causes of migratory movements were economic, political and national legal instability. It included a war and armed conflict, a destabilizing situation in the Iraqi, Syria, Libya and Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. The immediate causes of the sharp increasing of refugees in Europe in 2015 were:
- The lack of prospects. The endless civil wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan forced people to leave their camp and went to Europe. They hoped to find higher standards of life in those countries.- The deterioration of funding of refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. As a result, there was a reduction of food, an introduction of fees for using water and electricity.- The second war in Libya. The opening of a safer route for refugees across the Mediterranean Sea - Greece - Macedonia, instead of the old route through the Mediterranean - Libya - Italy. Macedonian government decided to issue visas for refugees for 3 days. It allowed refugees to cross the country without registration towards Europe and encouraged the migration flow.- A lack of funding. The European budget did not include refugees' maintenance costs.- A lack of a unified concept for the distribution of refugees in EU countries.- A lack of staff for the registration of refugees, border control, officers and translators.
The Routes of Refugees to Europe
The agency of the European Union's external border security identified several main routes of refugees to the EU:
- The West African route. It was from West Africa (Senegal, Mauritania) to the Canary Islands. Main ethnic groups were Moroccans, Senegalese and citizens of Niger, Nigeria and Mali.- The West Mediterranean route. It was from North Africa to the Iberian Peninsula through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. It was used by Algerian and Moroccan nationals that tried to get to Spain, France and Italy.- The Central Mediterranean route. It was from Libya to Italy and Malta. This route was used by migrants from the Horn of Africa and West Africa. Also, there were other routes that used to get to Europe (O'BRIEN).
European Refugee Crisis Statistics
According to the Frontex Agency, more than 500 thousand refugees have arrived at the borders of the EU Member States since 2015. There were 156,000 people that came to the territory of Europe in August that year. In 2014, 280 thousand migrants crossed the borders of Member States of the European Union. The illegal transportation of migrants has become a profitable part of criminal business. The carriers take from a few hundred to several thousand euros per person to deliver refugees to Europe. According to the UN, this business has brought smugglers up to 10 billion dollars. The refugees were delivered on flimsy, overcrowded boats that sometimes could not reach a shore. In 2015, about 2.5 thousand refugees died in the Mediterranean Sea.
European Refugee Crisis Solution
Different countries have different approaches to solve the problem of refugee flows. Germany opened the borders and appealed to other countries to show their solidarity. Germany raised the issue of the Dublin agreement, according to which Italy and Greece should deal with refugees. However, Germany decided to temporarily close eyes to the Dublin agreement, because this country was in first place by the number of expelled refugees in Europe in 2014 (Switzerland was in second place). Eastern European countries showed intransigence on their part. Hungary took steps to completely close borders to the territory, because thousands of refugees arrived there. In addition, the Hungarian authorities actually blocked refugees at the railway stations.
Europe declared that it was necessary to resolve the problem of refugees as soon as possible. But, at the same time, Europe did not know how to solve this problem. Ministers of Great Britain, Germany and France offered to create special centers in Italy and Greece. The refugees will be able to register in Europe and their destiny will be determined. Rome and Athens were not delighted by such a proposal, because the flow of refugees continued to grow according to all forecasts. Economics of the Mediterranean countries were not in the best position. Rest of Europe was not going to share expenditures for refugees.
At the same time, refugees arrived in the Old World and gradually passed to European standards. Several hundred refugees staged a protest in Hungary, because the police did not allow them to move by train in Germany. In Greece and Italy, refugees required a registration and they wanted to move to Germany or England. Refugees needed to increase social assistance in England. Germany and other business communities received a major benefit from these events. The country unanimously supported the reception of migrants. Ulrich Grillo - president of the Federal Association of German Industry, participant of the conference of the Bilderberg Club, a businessman, said that Germany has been a country of immigrants for many years (The Economist Newspaper).
European Refugee Problems
What will happen to these people in Europe? Probably, refugees' illusions quickly faded about carefree life. The mood in the EU member states quickly deteriorated. The real problems with the increasing number of migrants have formed a hostile attitude towards refugees in Central Europe. Europe has become a hostage by a situation that has created itself. In particular, the actions against Libya, Middle Eastern countries showed that, if we interfere actively, we will get an effect of kickback. This effect is refugees from other countries.
Refugees have begun to feel as owners of their new home and need to respect their feelings and rights from local inhabitants. The influence of refugees manifested in the social life of the host countries. The relations with indigenous people, ethnic and religious conflicts and imbalance of social and labor relations in the labor market and in places of mass stay of migrants have exacerbated with each passing day.
It is obvious that the solution to the European refugee crisis lies within global and international policy. Refugees express their intention to participate in the life of the host countries, have access to participate in the elections at all levels and contribute to the socio-economic development. The combination of efforts of all European countries and the creation of a common migration policy that takes into account the interests of both countries - the migration source and receiving countries - is a significant step to maintain the balance between social population groups. The question of the adaptation of refugees often comes up of the last ones. It consists in the aspiration to join to all the benefits of European civilization, tending to the cultural, religious, linguistic isolationism at the same time. Local people often see the real threat from the refugees. This threat appears in culture and non-compliance with the rules and customs, material inputs, the loss of scarce jobs, etc. It explains the noticeable shift of the European electorate to the right.
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