European Migration Crisis

July 31, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 28
Should the EU open its doors wider?
By Sarah Glazer

Introduction

A man clings to the rope ladder from a cargo ship (AP Photo)
A man clings to the rope ladder from a cargo ship that rescued him and other migrants on a sinking rubber boat in the Mediterranean Sea between Libya and Sicily on May 3, 2015. More than 220,000 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by land or sea so far this year. (AP Photo)

Members of the European Union (EU) are feeling besieged by a rising tide of refugees fleeing conflict and migrants seeking economic opportunity. Many of the refugees, who are mainly from the Middle East and Africa, are crossing the Mediterranean on overloaded boats or traveling via treacherous land routes, often victimized by unscrupulous human traffickers. National leaders disagree on what to do, other than fortify Europe's borders. Refugee organizations say strengthened borders will just push migrants, who have been dying by the thousands, to try even more dangerous routes. An EU plan to send navies to destroy smugglers’ boats faces similar criticism. Some economists argue that Europe needs more migrants to bolster its aging workforce. However, polls show most Europeans want fewer immigrants amid worries about unemployment and terrorism. Violent conflicts far from Europe — primarily the Syrian civil war — are driving this year's surge. That leads some observers to argue that an international solution to the migration crisis is needed.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Refugees and Asylum
Aug. 16, 2017  Refugees
Jul. 31, 2015  European Migration Crisis
Mar. 2009  Aiding Refugees
Jul. 09, 1999  Global Refugee Crisis
Feb. 07, 1997  Assisting Refugees
Oct. 27, 1989  The Politics of American Refugee Policy
May 30, 1980  Refugee Policy
Aug. 26, 1977  Indochinese Refugees
Apr. 11, 1962  Cuban Refugees
Feb. 25, 1959  Doctrine of Asylum
Jan. 08, 1958  Palestine Arab Refugees
Oct. 12, 1954  Assimilation of Refugees
May 03, 1950  Right of Asylum
Nov. 27, 1946  Immigration of Refugees
Apr. 14, 1938  Resettlement of Refugees
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Conflicts in Africa
Global Issues
Humanitarian Assistance
Immigration and Naturalization
International Law and Agreements
Middle East Conflicts
Refugees
Regional Political Affairs: Africa
Regional Political Affairs: Europe
War and Conflict