It’s been almost a year since Europe has experienced the most acute period of the migration crisis. According to recent data by Pew Research, the number of those visitors who sought asylum in European countries in 2015 reached a record 1 million 300 thousand people. It clarifies the Agency, it is twice more than in 1992 – a time when the Soviet Union collapsed and collapsed “iron curtain”. Despite the fact that the influx of those who claim to asylum in the EU, in 2016, much less the immigration crisis is far from complete.
Eurostat said that in the first quarter of this year, the number of asylum-seekers (287 100) increased by 50% compared to the same period in 2015, however, decreased by 33% compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, which was the peak time of the influx of immigrants from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. According to Eurostat, in the first quarter of the EU countries applied for asylum are people from 150 countries. In the first place, of course, the Syrians, the Iraqis and the Afghans for 102 thousand, 35 thousand and 34 thousand applications, respectively. Most desirable visitors country continues to be Germany.
“The immigration crisis continues and will continue – says “MK” head of the Center for German studies Institute of Europe RAS Vladislav Belov, because not resolved the reasons that drive hundreds of thousands of citizens of North Africa – Iraq, Afghanistan – to illegally cross the border with Europe. We can say that the cause is not resolved. Accordingly, Europe is struggling with the consequences, not the causes. This is the first. Second, over the past year and the EU, and other countries have taken concrete steps in addressing the consequences of the crisis. Adopted appropriate programs, allowing countries to gradually integrate the part of illegal immigrants that meet the requirements within the EU and within national jurisdictions, and send those requirements does not meet. Signed an agreement with Turkey, initiated by Germany in March 2016. Somehow it works, despite the failure of the EU to introduce visa-free regime, despite Turkey’s refusal to change domestic legislation to combat terrorism. However, it is a factor that eased the situation.
The measures taken for the protection of the external borders. The reformed Agency “FRONTEX”. Now operates the new Agency. Accordingly, increased control over the movement of ships or other vessels that move illegal. This is qualitatively different situation from the end of summer 2015, when neither the EU nor individual countries were completely unprepared for an influx of refugees. The leader of the migration of the EU, in my opinion, is Germany. She is trying to pursue a common European policy on reception, in the first place, in terms of a quota, a uniform distribution of migrants by all the 27 (plus one country – the United Kingdom, but it will still leave the EU). Here we see the absolute failure of this policy.”
The most unwelcoming towards the refugees-Muslims, according to Pew Research in Eastern and southern Europe were Hungary, Italy and Poland, plus Greece, which became a European place is “the landing” of immigrants arriving by sea. Sweden and Germany are the only countries where the majority of residents said that refugees make the country stronger thanks to the new labor force. There are concerns about the context of refugees and associated levels of crime are much less common.
“The countries of the Visegrad group does not agree with Germany about refugees, as the Baltic countries. Here a policy, we do not observe, ” adds Vladislav Belov. – However, at the level of individual States there is enough visible success. This and the Scandinavian countries, and Germany itself, which adopted amendments to the relevant law. Adopted the plan which, on the one hand, provides for the integration of citizens, illegal immigrants, on the other hand, the expulsion in that case, if they don’t agree and don’t follow standards, guidelines and requirements that exist in the country. There is a famous statement of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which she said almost a year ago, “we can handle it”. For Merkel personally, as the leader of Germany and the EU is under fierce criticism among his colleagues in the party among the opposition. It is believed that Merkel has not figured out all the consequences of what she actually gave the green by the waves of refugees that came to Europe in the fall of 2015.
The situation in terms of tools and mechanisms that exist at the European level and individual countries, is qualitatively different from 2015. But from the point of view of the causes of this crisis, little has changed. The EU failed to develop a plan that would affect the situation where it arises. I mean those are the reasons that make citizens in droves to create a new path “the great migration”. This is the main conclusion for the year.”
The influx of refugees to Europe has occupied a prominent place in anti-immigrant rhetoric, almost all right-wing parties in Europe and in the discussion concerning the decision of great Britain to leave the European Union. As the Pew research center, the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism is very much related to each other in the minds of many Europeans. In eight of the ten European countries whose inhabitants participated in the survey, half or more think that immigrants increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks in the country. But terrorism is not the only issue that concerned people in connection with the refugees. Many are also concerned that they will be an economic burden.
However, according to the respondents “MK” expert opinion individual countries at the state level over the past year has not changed. “There is a clear understanding that it is the illegal immigrants that they are breaking the law, it is not possible to close the borders, – says Vladislav Belov. – You can’t sink ships, you can’t shoot people who climb over barbed wire. It’s the illegals, it is the citizens who break the law and cross the border contrary to the law. Now there is a clearer understanding of how to integrate them. It also understands the need to tighten rules and regulations on which these illegal immigrants are accepted in these States. There is a vision of the bigger picture at the state level and future interactions, although the rest of the issue is not resolved.
If to speak about changes at the level of individual citizens, it is not necessary particular alarmist arguments, it is not necessary to give examples of individual illegal immigrants who have committed terrorist acts if we take Germany and Belgium. In General, the tolerance of society has not changed. At the level of small towns, communities where there are problems of interaction between local populations and illegal immigrants, of course, the attitude is changing. I will not say that this anti-immigrant sentiment, but the demands of citizens to the state security increasing, growing intolerance of violations of a criminal nature, violations of public order. Probably in a year, this attitude is objectively changing.
Overall, on the example of Germany say that the level of tolerance of the German population and German citizens to the illegal immigrants is very high. We should not exaggerate the role of migrants in the growth of radical sentiments. Because it is possible to speculate on the party “Alternative for Germany”, which is gaining a lot of votes. It provides a comprehensive criticism of the national parties and protests against the lack of progress in solving particular problems in economic, political and public discourse – not only against migrants. In any case, and “Pegida”, and “Alternative” criticized the migration policy of the former coalition government for two years prior to the occurrence of these events. Protests are a healthy reaction to missing specific reforms and they should not be confused with radicalization of the society. If there are some small parties that ways hard to Express these protests, these sentiments are picked up by protest parties”.
Merkel herself recently admitted mistakes in the migration policy of Germany. According to her, the Germans for too long ignored the existence of such problems as the migrants. “In September, at the Federal level will see the loss of Merkel, who is on the lower point of its popularity, – said Vladislav Belov. In my opinion, in 2017 a lot of what happens. At least, the coalition is beginning to win back from the opposition a certain niche where it works hard against migrants”.