The emigrants’ and refugees’ level in Europe became the great problem for European political system to be solved since the accidents of debt crisis. By the words of International Organization for Migration, nowadays Europe is the most dangerous place in terms of illegal migrations all over the world, and the Mediterranean region – one of the most problematic locations for borders crossing.
There is also a big problem with classifications of migrants, as there are asylum seekers and refugees, who are often included into the same category, which have different aims for moving from place to place and, consequently, the different levels of support introduced by international laws.
At first, there are asylum seekers who are mostly defined as the ones fearing of pursuit and searching for any kind of international protection according to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Then, the refugees represent the next step, when their conditions while being asylum seekers were approved to be categorized as legit ones. But, according to UN’s opinion, any migrants who run away from war or pursuit is considered to be refugee even before officially getting any shelter, like Syrian or Eritrean nationals who are claimed with the prima facie status.
There are the contrasting cases, as with economic migrants – their primary motivation for migrating lies in possible economic gains they may not achieve in homeland.
So, generally, there are three main categories for being migrants, for which there should be remembered one main detail – that each refugee is a migrant, but not each migrant is a refugee.
One of the most actual topics which is discussed across the whole continent for the last decades is how the migration centers handle their work, as many rights groups and migrants themselves point out the fact how they receive neglection and abuse in cases when they need help the most. And such line of behavior violates the rules provided by Article III of the European Convention on Human Rights which states clearly that any inhumane or degrading treatment is strictly prohibited. Sure, there are European countries, mostly on the north and west, whose asylum centers are well-run and offer high-quality resettlement conditions, but there is another issue – entering there is almost impossible without all the passages required and a help got from smugglers. So such zones stay out of the reach for most part of migrants who require any kind of international protection of their lives and rights, and it is exactly the same when there was a debt crisis – nationalistic ideas are prioritized higher then the idea of the whole Europe on accepting the migrants’ influx.
According to the experts’ researches, that may also be a fault of leading polarization of political climate that encourages nationalistic and anti-immigrant parties and shortens the humanitarian support from the countries that potentially could make the situation with migrations much easier to deal with. The brightest examples are given by Denmark and France that excused themselves with security measures when it came to accepting the migrants from Middle East and North Africa regions, especially after terrorist shootings in Paris and Copenhagen.
No less matters the issue of racial discriminations when accepting the immigrants by several European regions. In that way the leaders of Eastern Europe countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia expressed the wish to accept only non-Muslim migrants. In a similar way Slovakia has already announced in 2015 that it would let in only Christian refugees from Syria, despite the fact that such words fall under the EU law about equality of all people. Nevertheless, these countries keep defending their strategy with talking about the discomfort of their electors about developing Muslim communities.
The recent economic crisis also provoked the demographic shift throughout the continent with citizens of crisis-hit countries migrating to the North and West having searched for any job possible. Some experts, basing on this fact, think that the open-migrant strategy of Germany and Sweden has a positive economic impact, especially while taking into account the demographical downfall of birth rates and aging of the habitants of Europe. They also claim that the migrants are able to stimulate the economy of Europe as the employees, taxpayers and consumers and help to strengthen the systems providing the social security.
As for the August of 2015 the Germany announced suspending of the program for asylum seekers from Syria that de facto completely stopped the deportations from the latest country. It also renewed the temporary borders’ control with Austria in the September of 2015 after accepting around forty thousand migrants for just one weekend. This was the sign of solidarity that showed to others such message: if other countries of European Union did not make any efforts in the fair sharing of immigrants across the Europe, then the future of migrants’ situation and Schengen system itself would be under the question of its legibility. After the summit dedicated to the topic of emergency migrations there was a hidden requirement for other countries to imply the quote system on the whole territory of EU, and that is why Netherlands, Slovakia and Austria set by themselves the borders’ control. These events led to the biggest blow on Schengen during its more than twenty years of existence.
Some politics offered the creation of asylum centers on the territories of Middle East and North Africa so that the refugees could ask for shelters without crossing the Mediterranean Sea and with cutting down on the numbers of illegal migrations arriving at the European shores. But the opponents declare that such plan may destabilize the situation in the countries of hot spots even more.
Another plan introduced by European committee includes making a list of safe countries that may speed up the application procedures for giving an asylum or even deportations. But the rights groups expressed the doubts about some methods which several countries applied during the lists creation and openly warned that the lists can violate the rights of asylum seekers.