The number of people from war-ridden areas of the world seeking asylum in EU member states is rising constantly and the crisis is becoming more serious while the members are trying to find a way to solve this problem.
Among other countries, Germany and France have agreed to accept a large number of migrants, but as they can’t provide refuge for everyone, the rest of the EU needs to accept asylum seekers as well. Other countries are currently under pressure, especially Italy and Greece where the number of migrants is becoming critical and the countries overwhelmed.
Italy, Greece, Sweden, Austria and Germany, according to recent statistics, are the countries where most people are seeking asylum, and some countries such as Germany are more able to accept a large number of people than others such as Greece which is already struggling with a financial crisis and is on the verge of bankruptcy. Most of these migrants are running away from war in their home country, most of them being from Syria and Iraq, while others coming from Kosovo and Albania are trying to receive asylum status based on their poor living conditions. And the official statistics for the second quarter are still not in, but unofficial estimates claim that during the summer around 380,000 people sought asylum in the EU. And more are on their way.
According to EU officials, migrants that are more endangered (meaning those from Syria and Iraq) are considered as refugees and their requests will not be denied, while those coming from countries at peace not so easily. That is why reports claim that Kosovars, Albanians and Afghanistanis, and many more started posing as Syrian refugees in order to not be denied asylum.
Until recently, people could have traveled from one EU country to another without having their passport checked thanks to the Schengen Agreement, but due to the migrant influx border checks have been established again in order to maintain a certain amount of control.
This makes it more difficult for migrants who were planning to enter the European Union through Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary and Greece and move on to Germany and Austria. Currently, entering the EU through Hungary appears to be the most difficult due to intensified border controls, and there have been even some clashes between Hungary’s police and refugees. Because Hungary’s borders have been closed until further notice, migrants stuck in Serbia may need to look for other routes, possibly through Romania and Croatia. Other countries astride the Balkan route are also likely to establish more intense border controls, which would force migrants to go to Italy.
The influx of asylum seekers created a crisis in the European Union, especially in parts where there are many nationalists who strongly oppose foreigners being on their territory.
As a large number of migrants are looking for refuge in Sweden, the number of Sweden Democrats who are anti-immigration is growing and becoming stronger, and although there haven’t been any serious disorders yet, this situation is creating an environment suitable for chaos. The same might happen in other accepting countries as well.
The European Commission has recently developed a list of safe countries for migrants to seek refuge in, in order to help asylum seekers to get a place where they would be able to start a normal life more easily. They have also established asylum centers in nations through which these migrants are just passing, but some states like Serbia and Croatia are more cooperative than others (Macedonia for example).
On the other hand, Germany is more than willing to help and on the 15th of September the country has argued with other EU countries and threatened that if they don’t accept to help the migrants relocate, EU funds will be denied to them. However, Germany doesn’t have control over this money, so these threats will probably not come true, but the issue still stands and needs solving.
While the incoming of migrants could help improve the workforce of the European Union, state officials fear that these people, mostly coming from Africa and the Middle East, are not equipped to perform the jobs available for which laborers are needed, so they would simply be a burden on already sparse states’ finances. Besides this, the cultural gap might prove to be unbridgeable and having an ethnic group which just doesn’t fit in can lead to problems.
This is also where anti-immigration groups become included claiming that migrants will put pressure on healthcare and housing systems and decrease the quality of life of people already living there. Others, on the other hand, believe that, since tax receipts from working immigrants are higher, the state has more to benefit from this migrant influx than it has to lose.
This European migrant crisis has caused changes in opinion in the public who were strongly opposing migrations, and after seeing the struggles of these people who have lost everything and are dragging themselves and their families to a better place they have changed their minds and are more willing to agree that accepting these asylum seekers and helping them is a good decision, while others are still intensely against it.