The European Refugee Crisis

Term Paper, 2019

18 Pages, Grade: 1,7


Table of Contests

Table of figures

List of Abbreviations

1 Introduction
1.1 Problem statement
1.2 Aim of the paper

2 A European union in transition
2.1 A definition
2.1.1 Migration and Migrants
2.1.2 Integration
2.1.3 Refugee
2.1.4 Asylum seeker
2.2 Cause of the refugee crisis
2.3 Right-wing populist movements
2.4 Charities

3 Chances and Risks
3.1 Chances for Refugees
3.2 Chances for Europe
3.3 Risks for Refugees
3.4 Risks for Europe

4 Abstract

List of sources

Table of figures

Figure 1: Refugee movement

Figure 2: Drowned refugees

List of Abbreviations

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1 Introduction

Migrants are declared as a threat. As foreigners who deliberately invade richer countries, steal jobs, ask for money and do nothing in return. According to their own estimates, the countries of the EU are at the mercy of these flows. However, this assumption is not correct. Refugee movements are caused by economic and political processes and not by an individual's desire for better living conditions. In order to understand this complex problem, it is essential to look at the economy, the media, the population and the govern- ment in the European countries concerned. The same applies to the countries from which people flee. Until the 20th century, refugees were regarded as involuntary migrants who were forced by political or economic circumstances to leave their homeland for an uncer- tain period. Since this century, this trigger has been increasingly criticized and revised. This means that the assumption is spreading, that refugees and emigrants are individuals in search of better life chances in a rich country without the life-threatening influence of other powers. The political and economic reality is thus out of sight, a fact that is as irrational as it is inhumane. If it were true, that immigration and refugee movements were motivated solely by the individual desire for a more pleasant life, the European countries would face a mass invasion of poor in highly developed European countries, which would be uncontrollable and unstoppable. However, when this issue is addressed, it is striking that migrations are selective processes in which certain groups of people leave their homes to flee to an undefined country that offers them protection for their lives.

In European history, various migrations are limited and structured by time and geograph- ical conditions and cannot be reduced to poverty and persecution alone. These are the building blocks that are joined by comprehensive political and economic structures and events. The evolution of European migration has led to the beginnings of industrializa- tion, in particular the development of railways and factory work. From the 18th century to the late 19th century, the state began to deal with religious and political refugees. There was no border control, as there was no technical or administrative capacity to do so. Since the First World War, the Western European states have expanded their capacities and technology for border control, with the strengthening of interstate relations playing an important role. But this is also fitting in an increasingly global world. (cf. Sassen, S., Migranten, Siedler, Flüchtlinge, - Von der Massenauswanderung zur Festung Europa, 2017, chapter 4 - 5)

1.1 Problem statement

The problem of this term paper is the same which millions of Europeans discuss daily, does the refugee crisis create more advantages or more disadvantages? Does it entail risks or does it bring more opportunities than expected?

1.2 Aim of the paper

This paper is intended to give a picture of migration in Europe and to show that migration is a widespread and strategic component of the industrialization history of Europe over the last 300 years. Starting with the migration of workers from Westphalia to Amsterdam in the 18th century or the migration of Italian workers to German railway and urban con- struction in the 19th century. Migrant workers who came to Paris and German Jews who fled to neighboring countries as far as the USA. It is intended to show how history can contribute to seeing today's refugee and immigration policy in a different light and to correcting the notion that Europe is not a continent of immigration. There will not be a comprehensive overview of individual events, but rather a focus on how migrations arise, happen and end. How they give host countries the chance to develop, but also the risks involved in receiving and caring for refugees. The focus of this work will be on the flow of refugees from 2015 to 2018. (cf. Sassen, S., Migranten, Siedler, Flüchtlinge, - Von der Massenauswanderung zur Festung Europa, 2017, chapter 6 - 8)

2 A European union in transition

The severe consequences of terror and war in the Middle East have also reached Europe. At the same time, the number of refugees from countries in the Middle East and the Bal- kans has increased sharply. Most refugees come from Syria, Kosovo, Albania, Serbia and Iraq. Asylum applications are also made by people from African countries. (cf. Hinte, H., Rinne, U., Zimmermann, K., Flüchtlinge in Deutschland: Realismus statt Illusionen, 2015, p. 4)

For the time being, politicians have been relying on the fact that the current refugee move- ments won´t hit Europe. Early on, signs of excessive demands began to accumulate, for example in the Mediterranean states such as Italy and Greece. Even the more critical sit- uation in the main receiving countries of refugees, close to the crisis region itself - espe- cially in Lebanon and Turkey - has triggered little targeted action at the European level. Preparations for the reception of thousands of people were not made, the population was confronted with the situation and politics came under pressure. Instead, there is a deep rift in Europe when it comes to the way in which all those in need of protection are dis- tributed and received. (cf. Hinte, H., Rinne, U., Zimmermann, K., Flüchtlinge in Deutsch- land: Realismus statt Illusionen, 2015, p. 1) The following statistics combine three eva- luations. The blue bars indicate the five countries from which most refugees originated in 2017. The orange bars represent the five countries with the most refugees admitted in 2017. As shown, Germany is the only European country included in this ranking. The grey bars highlight how many refugees there were worldwide in 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The statistic shows, what the main problem of the EU is; the misdistribution of refugees. As one European union there should be an equal distribution of new arrivals, depending on the size and capacity of the country. This should be done in order to provide the best possible care for the escaped one and to keep the civil disturbances of the own inhabitants as low as possible. As the statistic represents it´s just Germany who get a quite big part of the migrants and also Italy and Greece which takes not that much but also enough to help. If there were a fair distribution, countries such as France, Spain and Swe- den would have to come first. This is due to the large area and also to the financial re- sources which are available in each country.

Figure 1: Refugee movement

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: Based on fluechtlingen/; lingen/; seit-1997

2.1 A definition

To understand what the European refugee crisis is, there must be a clear definition of all expressions that are given in the context of refugee crisis. The five most important ones are explained below.

2.1.1 Migration and Migrants

Migration refers to a longer-term relocation of the main place of residence across a na- tional or state border. The distance to origin is not generally defined. The United Nations defines migration, as to taking up residence in another country for a period of more than three months (short-term migration) or more than one year (long-term migration). The word implies that there is a free choice.

Migrants are people who are in a process of migration or who have already completed it. The designation depends on factors such as integration, experiences of foreignness, the feeling of well-being in the new environment or the behavior of the population.

(cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Dossier Migration, 2019)

2.1.2 Integration

Integration is a time-consuming process. The aim is to integrate all people who live con- tinuously and legally within a country into society. The immigrants should be enabled to have equal access to all areas of society. At the same time, they are obliged to respect and obey customs, laws and traditions. (cf. Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, Inte- gration, 2019)

2.1.3 Refugee

“According to the Geneva Convention, a refugee is someone who cannot return to his country of origin, because he has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” (Schweizerische Evangelische Allianz, Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Migrant, Asyl- suchender und Flüchtling, 2019)

2.1.4 Asylum seeker

An asylum seeker is a person who intends to obtain legal refugee status in order to be granted the right to stay in the country. The asylum procedure is different in all European countries and can last up to several years. (cf. Schweizerische Evangelische Allianz, Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Migrant, Asylsuchender und Flüchtling, 2019)

2.2 Cause of the refugee crisis

According to the UNHCR, there are about 50 million refugees worldwide. About half of them are minors. Children and women in particular mostly live in refugee camps in their country of origin or a neighboring country in their home continent. Only a few succeed in finding their way to Europe. The reasons for escape can be very complex. Family mem- bers, mostly men, flee in order to ensure the survival of the women and children or the family, they have to protect themselves from political persecution or need special medical treatment for themselves or the family. Education, in particular, is also a reason for flight, as the Taliban regime prohibits it for girls and women. Children and young people often migrate alone if the resources are sufficient for only one family member or if the family died.

Rough categorizations can be made of the reasons for flight in:

− Countries with war
− Countries with political, ethnic, racist and/or religious persecution, forced recruit- ment and imminent clan detention
− Countries without war and persecution, but with far-reaching political upheavals and economic conditions with lack of supply like water scarcity and hunger


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The European Refugee Crisis
University of Applied Sciences Essen
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european, refugee, crisis
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Michèle Wagner (Author), 2019, The European Refugee Crisis, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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