As reported by The Guardian, European leaders are fighting each other over the refugee crisis. “More than 1.8 million people have entered Europe irregularly since 2014 and Italy is currently sheltering 170,000 asylum seekers.”
There is undoubtedly a crisis, yet 1.8m people in a continent of 500m should be easy to accommodate. To put it in context, Turkey has received 4m refugees and Crimea 1.8m. There is no solidarity among European states to share the responsibility of accepting refugees, nor there are common structures and practices dealing with it.
As reported by Human Rights Watch: “Member states less affected by direct arrivals remained reluctant to share responsibility for asylum seekers. The two-year binding plan to relocate almost 100,000 asylum seekers out of Greece and Italy officially ended in September, with only 29,401 people actually transferred, less than one-third of the final target. Some countries continued to relocate, however, and over 2,000 more had been relocated by mid-November. In June, the European Commission initiated infringement proceedings against Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic for failure to comply with the plan. In September, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) dismissed the case against the relocation plan brought by Hungary and Slovakia. … EU countries continued to return asylum seekers to Italy, and resumed returns to Greece, under the Dublin Regulation, which requires the first EU country of entry to take responsibility for asylum claims in most cases.” Read the rest of the HRW report which includes a short analysis of the situation in each country.
(The UNHCR’s report has the number of relocations at 34,690, nowhere near the agreed 100,000)
According to the UNHCR report for April 2018:
“In April, nearly 7,300 refugees and migrants entered Europe via Italy, Greece and Spain, bringing the number of refugees and migrants who have arrived by land and sea routes to these three countries to nearly 24,300 in the first four months of 2018. This marks a significant decrease of 49% compared to the first four months of 2017, a period in which just over 48,000 refugees and migrants entered Europe via these three countries. The decrease so far this year is largely due to fewer people crossing from Libya to Italy.”