STRATEGIC APPROACH TO THE IMMIGRANTS' PROBLEMS IN EUROPE.

Author:Androniceanu, Armenia
Position:Report
 
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  1. Introduction

    Free movement of individuals, free trade worldwide, financial stability of certain countries and the major differences between rich and poor countries, made large masses of people move to wealthy areas of the world (Popescu, 2016). Thus, over two million people have arrived in Europe from 2014, causing serious immigration crisis. It is a crisis of unprecedented dimensions, caused in a large extent by apparently never-ending conflicts in the Middle East, which forced millions of men, women and children to leave their homeland, seeking protection and a decent living in other countries.

    In the current context, more than 4 million Syrians have fled the country, 7.6 million were internally displaced and over 230,000 have been killed. The vast majority of Syrian refugees are in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and their number is ever growing, which places these countries under a huge political, economic and social pressure. Since the beginning of 2015, given that the neighboring countries reached the maximum capacity of receiving new refugees and that border protection policies became a lot stricter than before, there has been a dramatic increase in both the number of internally displaced persons and direct flows of refugees arriving in the EU. Worldwide, many agencies and international bodies (FRONTEX, EASO, UNHCR and IOM) conducted studies and researches on the causes, implications and long-term trends resulting from the current context of migration, especially in the field of integration of foreigners in need of international protection, relevant statistics, human rights and treatment in agreement with European legislation.

    At national level, Iacob (2016) investigated perception of Romanians towards foreign citizens on the territory of Romania, attitudes and stereotypes regarding refugee arrivals in Europe and in Romania, resulting a medium concern for the migration reality. Also, internal and external problems generated by the refugee crisis were analyzed by Postelnicescu (2015), focusing on undermining the internal structure of the EU by imposing common policy on which there is agreement, as well as the creation of a new rifts between the West and the Easterners. It concluded that migratory waves of populations displaced by war, conflict, economic reasons and climate change would place Europe into a perpetual crisis in the coming years, terrorism and insecurity.

    This study is aimed to acknowledge and review the EU strategy on the management of refugee crisis, being presented the weaknesses/strengths, opportunities and threats generated by its implementation. Relevant authorities may use this review and the results of our work to improve their reaction capacity when facing the events that generate a "state of crisis."

  2. Current International Context

    Migration to developed European countries has always been one of the most important goals of the poor countries citizen, but the strict protection of borders prevented them from achieving this dream. Civil wars caused by the so-called Arab Spring in Libya and Syria left the borders of these countries unattended, and this trend combined with the decision of European leaders to make the extra community immigration policies more permissible, raised a wave of migration never seen in the postwar period (Popescu, Popescu, Popescu, 2016).

    As the civil war intensified in Syria where the Islamic State conquered vast territories, the number of refugees had been reaching over four million. UNHCR informed that the total number of refugees from Syria has reached over 4,013,000 people. "This is the largest refugee population generated by a conflict in a sole generation. It is a population that deserves the support of the whole world, but instead lives in miserable conditions and extreme poverty," said the High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres. Overwhelmed by the huge number of refugees and dissatisfied by the stagnation of negotiations for accession of Turkey to the European Union, Ankara government has made huge efforts to prevent them from going further to Europe.

    Thus, since 2015 until August 2016, a growing number of people risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, in search of safety and protection of individual security. In Figure 1 is reflected the number of illegal EU border crossings.

    As shown in Figure 2, most of the people who crossed illegally the borders of the EU are Syrians, followed by Afghanis and Iraqis.

    Most people apply for asylum in the EU, which is a form of international protection of persons fleeing from their country of origin and cannot return due to a well-grounded fear of persecution. Member States are responsible to analyze their applications for asylum, deciding if they have the legal right to receive protection. However, not everyone who comes to Europe needs protection. Many people leave their countries seeking a better life and economic advantages (Silverman and Lewis, 2017). If national governments reject their application for asylum, their stay become illegally and have to be forced or voluntary transferred to their country of origin. "More than half of the immigrants arriving in Europe are motivated by economic reasons and have never endured war or persecution," said the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans. Countries of origin concerned are Morocco and Tunisia, where there is no current conflict. Figure 3 is showing the number of applications approved in 2015.

  3. European Union Policy on Crisis Management

    One of the main goals of the European Union has always been a comprehensive European policy on migration. Migration policy aims to establish a balanced approach to legal and illegal immigration (Popescu and Dumitrescu, 2016). Migration management includes an internal dimension, which derives from the joint responsibility of Member States, but also an external dimension, managed in cooperation with non-EU countries, countries of transit and countries of origin.

    As a response to current challenges of migration, the European Commission adopted on May 13, 2015, a new European Agenda for Migration. With this new agenda, the EU proposes immediate action and medium and long-term initiatives to be taken to provide structural...

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