Policy analysis: migration crisis | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Автор:

Рубрика: Политология

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №22 (312) май 2020 г.

Дата публикации: 30.05.2020

Статья просмотрена: 5 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Михалева, М. П. Policy analysis: migration crisis / М. П. Михалева. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2020. — № 22 (312). — С. 214-218. — URL: https://moluch.ru/archive/312/70943/ (дата обращения: 10.07.2020).



The article analyses the actions of European authorities during the Migrant Crisis and their consequences.

Keywords: European Union, migrant crisis, policy.

Migrant crisis is the intense difficulty, trouble, or danger situation in the receiving state due to the movements of large groups of immigrants escaping from the conditions which negatively affected their situation (security, economic, political or societal) at the country of origin. The European migrant crisis, also known as the refugee crisis, a period which started in 2015 and ended in spring of 2019, is a significant global issue. Many people are looking for asylum in the European Union; it gives protection to those who cannot return due to a well-founded fear of persecution or risk of suffering serious harm. EU Member States are responsible for examining asylum applications and for deciding who will receive protection.

The Migrant Crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since the Second World War, in the sense that it affected not only the targeted member States, mostly Western, but the EU as a whole by showing the weakness and the feebleness of the European Project itself. European Union faced increased crime rates and uncontrolled flow of refugees across the EU.

Main Body

Historical background

According to Eurostat data shown in Chart 1, since 2008, more than 6.5 million people have applied for asylum in the European Union, about forty per cent of the applications were from 2015–2016.

What were the reasons of the crisis?

First reason of migration crisis are civil wars, specifically in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. The greatest number of migrants in Europe originate from Syria, there migration stems from socio-political oppression under President Bashar al-Assad. Because of this in 2011 began the civil war between pro- and anti-government groups, many external governments, for example, United States, United Kingdom and France, supported anti-governmental forces in this conflict. Syrian President responded with force to all pro-democracy protests, thousands of people fled the country and moved to Europe. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees official statistics, Afghanistan ranks second in the number of refugees in the world, there are almost 2.5 million registered refugees. Afghanistan has faced about 40 years of conflicts dating back to the Saur Revolution in 1978. Since then, the nation has faced fluctuating levels of civil war amidst unending unrest. Iraq was on the third place in number of refugees, which went to Europe during crisis. In 2014 began the Iraqi Civil War. The main reason of it was Anbar Province citizens’ dissatisfaction and protests against Maliki government, which finally switched to military conflict between Iraqi government, Islamic State, anti-government groups and other allied groups. Why did all these conflicts happen? In Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq there are no tools, which help government to conflict early warning and respond correctly. What is more, the security apparatus does not work at the proper level and human rights are not protected.

Second reason are activities of radical Islamic terrorist organizations, such as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and Taliban. Since 2014 to 2016 more than 10 per cent of all deaths in the world occurred in only 3 countries: Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. This number has grown dramatically from 7.98 per cent in 2013 to 13.66 per cent in 2014 and reached its’ peak. What is more, in some countries, activity of terrorist organizations was one of the reasons of civil wars. Many people in right-wing populists in Europe thought, that refugees were potential perpetrators, but they were potential victims of terrorism. And this was the reason why they were fleeing. While it is true that threat of terror is one root cause of migration, nevertheless, terror itself is not a “final cause”, but a consequence of a much bigger problem. So, it is important not only fight with consequences, but also with the roots of all problems in these states.

And the final reason is economic migration. It is a movement of people from one country to another to benefit from greater economic opportunities in the receiving country. Some economic migrants are highly educated professionals, who look for new opportunities in the labour market, it is a natural process, which is caused by changes in world economy. However, most migrants leave their countries to escape from poverty, find better opportunities for their families and children and obtain job security, which may be in lacking in their home countries. Moreover, economic migrants usually move from developing countries or countries with unstable economic situation to developed ones, such as Germany, France, Sweden and United Kingdom. If these migrants do not have a legitimate claim to protection national governments have a right to ensure that they return to their home country, or to another country through which they have passed.

What measures were taken?

Valletta Summit on migration EU heads of state or government met with their counterparts from African countries to discuss migration issues. They agreed on an action plan focusing on five priority domains:

– concentrating on the root causes of migration and forced dislocation.

– improving work on promoting and organizing legal migration flow.

– increasing protection of migrants and asylum seekers.

– beginning the exploitation and trafficking of migrants.

– improving cooperation on return, reemission and reintegration.

European Council President Donald Tusk joined world leaders at a conference in London to announce a €3 billion EU contribution to assist the Syrian people in 2016. This includes people inside Syria as well as refugees and the communities hosting them in the asylums.

EU leaders approved conclusions on the migration crisis. They focused on the need to build an European agreement on migration and on application of decisions already taken. They highlighted the need to make progress on:

– application of the EU-Turkey action plan.

– delivery of humanitarian assistance to refugees.

– confirming hotspots are fully functional.

– procedure of relocation, return and readmission.

– improving supervision of external borders.

– restoring the normal functioning of the Schengen area.

Current situation

In 2019, the number of accepted refugees decreased by 10 percent compared to 2018 and the main number of refugees was from Greece. Thus, by the end of 2019, the number of migrants amounted to 120 thousand.

However, what is more surprising is that there has been an increase in illegal immigrants entering Greece and the Canary Islands, which was an increase of fifty percent compared to 2018. About 2 200 people from Africa were able to enter the Canary Islands illegally. This all became an occasion for the development of an illegal business for transporting migrants from West Africa to the Canary Islands.

The international organization for migration (IOM) published a report stating that there was a decline in the number of migrants who were able to reach the European Union via the Mediterranean in 2019 by five percent (107 546 people). But Greece took the largest number, according to official data, about 60 thousand people were registered. As of December 2019, the number of deaths has decreased by 34 %, which amounted to 3 170 people, although a year earlier this number was close to five thousand deaths. In the Mediterranean, more than thirty-four thousand refugees died in the period 2014–2019.

Policy Analysis

How the policy was discussed?

The heads of states discussed what member states and the EU institutions on how to improve the dramatic situation in the Mediterranean. The discussions were on how to save lives, which included combat human trafficking, establishment the EU operations in Mediterranean, preventing illegal migration streams, and supporting the most affected EU member states and cooperating with the countries of cause and transposing EU countries.

The European Council construct on the Council discussions by foreign and home affairs ministers held in Luxembourg on 20 April. Furthermore, the Commission and the European External Action Service presented options for instantaneous actions. On Monday 20 April a joint Council session between foreign and interior ministers discussed migration issues, following recent events in the Mediterranean. Ministers agreed to reinforce the fight against trafficking of human individuals, to strengthen EU action to save lives at sea as well as increase support for countries on the front line, by sharing the resettlement of refugees. In addition, diplomatic action will be started to do more to resolve the root of the causes of migration, including conflicts, poverty and human rights violations.

At the meeting the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulous, also presented a 10-point plan of immediate actions to be taken in response to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean. The situation in the Mediterranean is not new. The fight against illegal migration has been a long priority for the European Union. At the European Council meeting in June 2014 leaders agreed on strategies in the area of freedom, security and justice. These guidelines highlight the need to address the root causes of illegal immigration and beginning of all illegal migration flows. However, there are no quick solutions to the root causes of migration. There are multiple causes such as conflict, economic difficulty and human rights violations. Simple solutions did not exist. The EU is active in supporting member states in managing external borders, including those in the Mediterranean. Over the last 5 years, the EU has spent about €3.5 billion to member states through various solidarity mechanisms. The EU's border mission, Operation Triton, assisted the region in rescuing some 7 800 migrants in the central Mediterranean since it was deployed.

How the policy was implemented?

In April 2015 three boards with migrants drowned, only 28 people out of about 1 500 survived. This tragedy attracted attention to the problems of illegal migration and European Union had to take actions. In May of the same year European Commission proposed European Agenda on Migration where various measures were described. They can be divided into three groups:

– Outside the EU

– At the EU’s borders

– Inside the EU

Measures taken outside the EU are aimed to fight with reasons of illegal migration, because it is useless to fight with migrants without tackling the root causes of migration. First of all, ф voluntary resettle programme was implied, it envisaged that 22 500 people would be transferred outside the EU. Secondly, European Union began to work with 5 countries in Africa where most migrants come from. For example, the EU is cooperating with Niger; it helps to lower the number of migrants that go through the Sahara. The EU funding supports self-employment in transit zones and six migrant centers for vulnerable migrants. However, for the EU it is hard to solve problems with civil wars and terrorism in Syria and Afghanistan.

Policy at the EU’s borders is made to save lives and improve identification and registration system. The European Union increased number of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and trying to fight with multiple criminal networks. In October 2016 the new European Border and Coast Guard was launched in order to protect external borders and resist migration challenges.

One of the most important measures was the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016 which helped to stop the uncontrolled flow of migrants across the Aegean Sea and provided refugees with legal ways to enter Europe. Illegal migrants arriving on the Greek islands from Turkey were returned back, it they did not officially apply for asylum or if their application had been rejected. Moreover, for every Syrian who was returned to Turkey after unsuccessful illegal crossing the EU agreed to give asylum to those Syrians who did not intend to break the law.

In Greece and Italy were created hotspots for managing migration flows. Experts from Member States were sent to these countries to help the authorities with identifying and registering all arriving people, they also provided information about international protection.

The rate of returns significantly grew; far more illegal migrants without right to stay in Europe were returned to their homelands. This was a consequence of mass application of the rules on return by Member states and conclusion of a return agreement with opportune non-EU countries. What is more, the EU was assisted by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in coordination of return flights.

Inside the EU measures were taken to relocate refugees and simplify the asylum system. In 2015 an emergency relocation scheme was set up to redeploy refugees from Greece and Italy to different EU Member States.

Indicators

Policy success indicators:

– Over 400 000 lives were saved in the Mediterranean in 2015 and 2016

– Over 2 000 traffickers and smugglers were caught and 375 vessels removed

– The number of refugees and migrants coming from Turkey to Greece significantly decreased from 10 000 in a single day in October 2015 to less than 74 a day since March 2016

– About 8 000 Syrian refugees had been resettled from Turkey to the EU

– By 21 July 2017, more than 24 000 people had been relocated to 24 participating states

– By July 2017, 16 500 people from outside the EU had been resettled to 21 resettling states

Resources

In order to fight with migrant crisis, the European Union allocated various resources, such as human and monetary. In 2015 the EU tripled the available resources for search and rescue operations; this step helped to save over 400 000 lives in 2015 and 2016. Moreover, in the European Border and Coast Guard work more than 100 000 people, who are protecting external borders. It is also important to remember about Member State experts sent to Greece and Italy to help with registering migrants.

During a two-year period, from 2015 to 2017, €17.7 billion has been allocated from the EU budget to deal with the migration crisis. About €10 billion was spent for funding countries outside the EU, such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This included €2.7 billion in humanitarian aid, €0.6 billion for the Trust Fund for Syria and €2.4 billion for the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The EU is also a leading donor in the international response to the Syria crisis, with €9.4 billion in humanitarian and development assistance already allocated.

Conclusion

The number of refugees is constantly falling every year; however, it is still to early to say that the problem with migrants is solved and all possible measures are taken. From the analysis of the situation it is possible to understand that the European Union’s migration policy is quite effective. On the other hand, it is possible to argue about this policy’s timeliness; hundreds of thousands of people were dying every year trying to reach the EU’s borders.

The key point is fighting with circumstances that make people flee their country of origin. There are many different reasons of Migration crisis in Europe. However, all of them are the consequences of one major problem — problem of “failing states”. Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, where most of refugees come from, have Fragile States Index more than 100 since 2015, they are in “high alert” and “very high alert” groups. This means, that it is highly important to attract the attention of the world community to this problem and provide more information about organizations which try to solve this problem, for example, Fund for Peace, in order to improve the situation with refugees and prevent future migration crises.

References:

  1. European Commission, 2017. The EU and the migration crisis. [online] Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  2. European Commission, 2015. AEuropean agenda on migration. [online] Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  3. The Guardian, 2018. What is the current state of the migration crisis in Europe? [online] Available at: < https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/15/what-current-scale-migration-crisis-europe-future-outlook> [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  4. The Guardian, 2016. EU-Turkey refugee deal — Q&A. [online] Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  5. Nalepa, M., 2018. EU migration policy changes in times of crisis. [online] Sweden: Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration. Available at: < https://www.mah.se/upload/FAKULTETER/KS/IMER/Moa_Final.pdf> [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  6. European Council, Council of the European Union, 2020. Timeline — response to migratory pressures. [online] Available at: < https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/migratory-pressures/history-migratory-pressures/> [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  7. Eurostat, 2020. Asylum and first-time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex Annual aggregated data (rounded). [online] Available at: < https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/en/web/products-datasets/-/MIGR_ASYAPPCTZA> [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  8. UNHCR, 2020. Afghanistan. [online] Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  9. Our World in Data, 2019. Terrorism. [online] Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  10. Counter extremism project, 2020. Terrorists and Extremists Database. [online] Available at: < https://www.counterextremism.com/extremists> [Accesses 28 May 2020].
  11. Apetroe, A., 2016. The European migration crisis. Which consequences affecting the stability of the European Union? Researchgate.net Science blog [blog] September. Available at: [Accesses 28 May 2020].
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): FAKULTETER, IMER, IOM, ISIL, UNHCR.


Ключевые слова

European Union, migrant crisis, policy

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