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EU's Migrant Crisis and Underlying Factors

Updated: Oct 5, 2023



The European Union is facing a mounting crisis in its asylum policy, with Hungary's President Viktor Orban asserting that the EU's migrant pact has "failed." This crisis is not isolated to Hungary; Germany is also grappling with an influx of migrants from Poland and the Czech Republic. As the situation escalates, it becomes essential to examine the reasons behind this failure and the consequences it brings to the EU.


Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, unveiled a 10-point plan to address the flow of migrants into Italy, following the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants in Lampedusa. The plan includes deploying the EU's border agency Frontex to help register and deport illegal migrants and increasing surveillance to dismantle smuggling networks. While these measures are essential, they are reactive rather than proactive, failing to address the root causes of the crisis.


One of the alarming revelations that further erodes trust in the EU's asylum policy is the "visa for bribes" scandal involving Poland. It is alleged that Poland has issued as many as 250,000 visas to migrants from Asia and Africa since 2021, in return for bribes of several thousand euros each. This scandal not only tarnishes the EU's reputation but also highlights the inadequacies in its internal monitoring mechanisms.


In response to these challenges, the EU Commission has put pressure on Poland to explain the extent of the crisis and its impact on security within the EU. However, these actions are seen by some as too little, too late. The crisis has exposed weaknesses in the EU's ability to coordinate and implement a unified asylum policy.


Several key factors contribute to the failure of the EU's asylum policy:


Lack of Solidarity: EU member states have struggled to reach a consensus on how to distribute the burden of asylum seekers. This lack of solidarity has resulted in a fragmented approach that undermines the effectiveness of the policy.


Reactive Measures: The EU has often responded to crises reactively rather than proactively, failing to address the root causes of migration and asylum challenges.


Inadequate Border Control: Weaknesses in border control have allowed illegal migrants to enter EU countries, further straining the asylum system.


External Pressures: Pressure from neighboring countries and international conflicts have exacerbated the influx of migrants, making it difficult for the EU to manage the crisis effectively.


To address these issues effectively, the EU must prioritize unity, proactive measures, and stronger border control while tackling the root causes of migration. Only through such comprehensive reform can the EU hope to regain control of the spiraling asylum crisis and fulfill its humanitarian obligations.

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