The summer of 2015 was a turning point in the history of the EU. The massive influx of migrants not only manifested a global refugee crisis, but was also a huge challenge for Europe; the EU apparatus proved unable to respond sufficiently. Since then, the political debate on migration in Europe has been polarizing, heated, and even dangerous. For European decision-makers to find a joint policy on migration has been an extremely difficult task, eventually leading the EU to harden its approach by boosting its frontier and coastguard. This has led to a decrease in the number of arrivals, even though in 2018, 68,5 million people were displaced, nearly 3 million more than the year before. A key issue in this regard is that closing the borders may force people to take refuge in weak or vulnerable states, leading to increased pressure on systems that are already struggling to stay afloat. This may potentially lead to more conflict, radicalization, and eventually also more refugees. It should be recognized that the current refugee and migration crisis is not just a local or European problem – it is global. Building a “Fortress Europe” might be necessary as a short-term solution. However, a long-term solution would require different approach. At this event, we will discuss the EU’s crisis response towards the countries in the Middle East and the Sahel where migrants and refugees come from or are important transit countries – is it helping, or is it counterproductive? The event is organized by EUNPACK and is part of the project’s final conference which will take place at CEPS 18-19 March 2019.
Please register here.