Europe's migration crisis: threats to Schengen

2017-05-10, by Juan Antonio Pavón Losada, from Fundación Alternativas

Executive Summary:

This article touches upon the migration crisis in Europe. First, it talks about Europe’s reaction to migration crisis at the EU level; Second, it shows how EU member’s domestic policy contradicts with EU’s goal; In the end, the author puts forward some suggestions to deal with immigrant crisis.

At EU level, member states and institutions agree that they have a common duty to respond to immigrant crisis, as they have agreed on a European Agenda on Migration that stated the “immediate imperative is a duty to protect those in need”. While having adopting a substantial package of new measures, they have also proposed to establish some mechanisms, including: Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; European Border and Coast Guard, Rapid Border Intervention Teams and so on, in order to better manage the flow of immigrants.

But at national level, responses are fragmented, and countries are unwilling to share the burden of neighbor countries and absorb migrants. Also, there is no coherent European asylum policy, no shared recognition of positive claims, or consistent migration policy. EU countries have tough policy to accept immigrants, and they have suspended to launch a clear asylum policy, and refused to take shared responsibility.  The lack of real European leadership and the Brexit negotiations have also exerted a negative impact on solving immigration crisis.

The refugee crisis did not create a political cleavage in the Union, but it revealed a pre-existing one. The placement of overwhelming amounts of responsibility on frontline member states, which were forced to act as gatekeepers to the EU’s Schengen zone.

As for the perspectives and ways forward, the author argues that pushing the problem to neighbors and building the fence higher will not solve the problem. Besides regaining leadership, there should be unity and enforce, as well as effective migration management inside EU community.

Future proposals include: A European common policy; A European Border and Coast Guard which include Reception Network; The mechanism of Dublin regulation; The review of hotspots and regulation scheme.

Juan Antonio Pavón Losada, European public policy expert and strategic Communications consultant. Contributor member of Opex, Fundación Alternativas.

This paper has been granted authorization to use and reproduce by Fundación Alternativas. For academic purposes only. Executive summary is based on the paper.

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