One of the most urgent problems of the European Union is a crisis of migration. How exactly does it affect our lives? And what does it bring? We have known this not from today – people move. Many years traveling, searching for a better life or work. They run the risk of leaving the current life and go on a long journey. However, in recent years this phenomenon has intensified posing new challenges of the European Union. It is worth considering what are the reasons and, more importantly, the consequences.
Ongoing since 2011 bloody war in Syria has intensified the phenomenon of migration. People began to flee both from hunger and lack of work but most of all – to protect themselves. In subsequent years, the situation has became even worse. The migrants were moving on the Western Balkans trial to Macedonia and Serbia, then to Hungary and next European countries. There has been a sharp increase in the number of people applying for political asylum, among others from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2014, it was up to 600,000 people. One year later, record was beaten – 1.2 million people have tried to get asylum. The worst situation was in Greece. Aegean Sea has become an attractive route for illegal immigrants. This situation quickly brought other consequences, intensified border controls. 8 countries of Schengen area have started borders controls. It is the largest wave of migration after the 2nd World War.
Initially, the presence of the refugees wasn’t a big problem. German Chancellor decided to welcome their starting a policy of „open door”. Refugees were not economic burden – their admission and stay covered with the surplus, which amounted to approximately EUR 5 billion. Businesses were also positive, as a result of demographic decline – Germany needs hands to work. Unfortunately, with the passage of time they began to notice that this is not a perfect solution.
Fundamental dimension of this crisis is the conflict between the countries of the European Union and the European Commission. Conflict grows because the solution still can not be found. However, the migration crisis brings many other consequences – cultural, social and above all – economic. The European Commission has issued a decree on the separation of the number of refugees between Member States. In a recent newspaper interview, the Italian Prime Minister said that Italy can not accept such number of refugees as they did the previous year. The basic economic problem is that costs generates adoption and maintenance of refugees. Not all EU countries are able to receive the number of refugees and do not feel the economic effects . Especially, the number of refugees seems to have no end. Year after year, the number increases. The issue of economy is not only focused on helping refugees start a new life. The issue of economic concerns all funds invested in helping to save their lives. Every day thousands of them cross the long and exhausting road in search for a better life. Help starts in entering them safely ashore from boats or pontoons which they use. The funds are invested also increased last time border protection. On the other hand, however, we note that the richest countries take the largest number of refugees which is opposed to the theory – refugee burden the economy. With the integration of refugee programs they can develop not only in terms of jobs and wages, but also to approach socially.
The problem of migration crisis has many faces. Economic, political. It became an international dispute that desperately needs a solution. This is reflected also on the public mood. People are becoming more reluctant to refugees. Often it comes to acts of violence against them. Increasingly, we hear about nationalist sentiment. The natives are worried about their jobs and safety. More and more often we meet with xenophobia.
How and where should we look for solutions? Should we focus on the distribution of the number of refugees between countries or maybe we should get to the sources of conflict, including the war in Syria? Unfortunately, in the near future we will not know the answer to that question. We can only hope that it will not happen at the expense of people who desperately cry out for help.
by: Karolina Banaś
- Joseph Stiglitz (2009) ‘The global crisis, social protection and jobs’ International Labour Review
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