EU migration policy in 2023


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Migration within the EU has long been a source of tension among member states. The EU’s open borders policy, known as the Schengen Agreement, has allowed for the free movement of people within the bloc, but has also led to a surge in migration from outside the EU.

As of january 1, Croatia entered the Schengen regime which made the EU’s free movement area even wider. This also has led to a number of problems and challenges, both for the migrants themselves and for the EU as a whole. One of the main problems facing migrants in the EU is poverty and inequality. Many migrants arrive in the EU with few resources and limited opportunities, and struggle to find work and housing. This can lead to poverty, discrimination, and marginalization.

Migrants are also often the victims of hate crimes and discrimination, both from individuals and from government policies. Another major problem facing migrants in the EU is the lack of integration and social cohesion. Many migrants struggle to learn the language and customs of their host country, and find it difficult to build connections with their new communities. Subsequently, this influences to feelings of isolation and alienation, and can make it difficult for migrants to fully participate in society. In the future, the EU will face increasing pressure from migrants, particularly from Africa and the Middle East.

Climate change, war, and economic instability are all driving more and more people to leave their homes in search of a better life in the EU. This will put a strain on EU member states, as they struggle to accommodate and integrate these new arrivals. To respond to these challenges, the EU should take a comprehensive approach that focuses on both short-term and long-term solutions. In the short term, the EU should provide humanitarian assistance and support to migrants, including food, shelter, and healthcare especially to those fleeing from the horrors of war in Ukraine. The EU should also work to improve conditions in migrants’ countries of origin, by providing aid and supporting economic development.

In the long term, the EU should focus on integrating migrants into society by providing language classes, job training, and other forms of support. The EU should also work to combat discrimination and racism, and to promote social cohesion. Additionally, the EU should work to address the root causes of migration, such as poverty, inequality, and war, by providing aid to migrants’ countries of origin, and by supporting economic development. 

The New Humanitarian portal believes that among the top priorities for 2023, should be an increase of number of rejected asylum seekers who are returned to their countries of origin, this should not be the sole solution. Forced returns can be costly, as can economic assistance programs for those who choose to return voluntarily. Instead, European countries should explore alternative options for rejected asylum seekers, such as allowing them to transition to different migration channels, such as obtaining a labor or work permit, if their skills match the growing demands of the labor market in many destination countries.

This would not only provide a viable solution for the rejected asylum seekers, but also address the pressing labor market needs in the destination countries. The German news outlet DW reports that concerns about Ukrainian refugees have overshadowed the growing migration movements in the southeast of Europe. In the past year, there has been a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Egypt, as well as irregular border crossings. The EU’s border management agency, Frontex, recorded around 280,000 irregular entries by October, which is 77% more than in 2021, and the highest number since the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016. These numbers are based on estimates and not confirmed data. 

In conclusion, while migrants in the EU face a number of problems and challenges, these challenges are not insurmountable. By taking a comprehensive approach that focuses on both short-term and long-term solutions, the EU can help to ensure that migrants are treated fairly and given the opportunity to build a better life in the EU.

Written by: Nenad Stekić

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