Impacts of Refugee Crisis on EU’s future

2023/10/11 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online - Interview: An expert on European affairs, stating that immigration policies can lead to disagreements among EU member states of the Union, added: Differences in immigration policies can be one of the factors that lead to increased pressure on the European Union and the resulting consequences, especially difference between the right and left political currents along with social violence creates, would cause serious challenges for the Union.

Amir Hossein Askari, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, referred to the warnings of the European Union foreign policy official regarding the consequences of the deep gap between the member states over migration policies and said The migration crisis is currently one of the most important challenges that the European Union is facing with to the extent that Josep Burrell, referring to the challenges and threats arising from it, pointed to the possible dissolution of the European Union.

He stated that Burrell’s remarks show that the European Union faces a deep gap in immigration policies. He added: While some countries such as Germany and Sweden are known as countries that accept immigrants, other countries such as Hungary and Poland are against immigration policies. After the coming to power of “Giorgia Meloni” from the right-wing party of the Brothers of Italy in that country, Rome joined the circle of countries against immigration.

Askari pointed to Germany’s agreement to a controversial reform package of the European Union’s asylum laws and said the “crisis regulation” bill proposed stricter policies for the time when high numbers of migrants put too much pressure on the asylum system. A majority of the member states have been set to approve these new regulations. Still, the bill must also be approved by the European Parliament, and the Parliament has announced that it will not approve it. This gap has caused the European Union to be unable to make a unified decision on immigration and propose similar policies.

The Director of the Research-News Center of European Studies stated that some European countries are trying to finalize the reforms of the European Union’s asylum laws, which began since the refugee crisis in 2015, until the next European Parliament elections in June 2024, to prevent the success of populists and the extreme right in the elections due to the misuse of the issue of asylum seekers, referred to the reasons why Poland, Hungary, Austria, and several other European countries oppose the bill and clarified: Although the announcement of Germany’s agreement with this reform package will advance the work, some countries due to their concerns about the increase in the number of immigrants have inclined to very strict policies, which has widened the gap between the countries of the Union. These conditions have caused Burrell to somehow deal with the consequences of migration on the European Union in the form of its collapse and dissolution.

Askari said: Differences in immigration policies can be one of the factors that lead to increased pressure on the European Union, and the resulting consequences, especially the differences between the right and left political currents along with social violence, create serious challenges for the Union. But this issue alone cannot be the reason for the dissolution of the Union. The European Union faces many challenges, including the economic crisis, climate change, and security threats; therefore, to save the Union, the member states must act in a coordinated and cooperative manner when facing the challenges.

While explaining the consequences of immigration and its effects on the politics, society, and economy of Europe, he referred to the sharp increase in the number of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants and the inability of the Union to manage and control this issue, the differences between the member states in immigration policies and the lack of agreement in this field, the adverse effects on the economy of the member countries due to the intensification of the immigration waves of more immigrants and asylum seekers, the increase in racism and discrimination against immigrants in some member countries, the political and security effects of the rise in the number of immigrants on the relations between the member countries, as some of the consequences of the increase in immigration on Europe, which can fuel the possibility of Union dissolution due to immigration policies.

The analyst of European affairs continued by stating that immigration policies can cause differences between the Union member states and noted: In this context, the tendencies of the parties to the right or left will be very decisive. Right and left political parties in Europe have many differences regarding immigration policies. Generally, right-wing political parties are strongly against the entry of immigrants into their countries and try to keep those people away from their country by creating severe restrictions on the entry of immigrants. Those parties generally believe that the arrival of immigrants to European countries has increased unemployment and poverty in those countries.

Reminding that the political left parties are active against racial discrimination and discrimination against immigrants and strongly emphasize the rights of immigrants in their countries, Askari noted: Those parties generally believe that immigration to European countries can be beneficial for those countries and is considered as an opportunity for economic development and growth. On the other hand, some political parties seek to find a moderate solution for immigration issues, which, while paying attention to the rights of immigrants, consider specific rules and regulations for the entry of immigrants into their countries. Therefore, the difference in immigration policies in the Union member states can also be considered another challenge.

The Director of the Research-News Center of European Studies stated that the European Union could pay attention to two leading solutions in this regard and referred to strengthening cooperation and interaction among member states and solving economic and social crises as being among such efforts and explained: The European refugee system was hit hard by the influx of more than one million migrants, mainly from Syria, and then one of the biggest political crises in the European Union took place in this area. Now, with the increase of Ukrainian refugees, those countries, after lengthy discussions, have signed an agreement to solve this political crisis, based on which the responsibility for dealing with the situation of immigrants who enter Europe without permission will be divided.

Referring to the objections of some countries, especially Italy and Greece, Askari continued: The new reforms will create a new solidarity system to check the status of asylum seekers so that the migrants can be returned to the country of origin or the country of transit faster. Of course, experts have warned about the consequences of implementing such plans, and human rights groups also believe that stricter anti-immigration laws violate human rights.

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