The influence of far-right in EU Member States: a look from the 2015 crisis to today


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The rise of far-right movements in the EU has had a profound impact on immigration policies and attitudes towards migrants, particularly in the wake of the 2015 refugee crisis. Triggered by conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa, it led to a significant influx of migrants seeking asylum in EU countries, with far-right movements exploiting fears and concerns surrounding security, cultural identity, and economic implications.

The immediate aftermath of the crisis saw a surge in far-right movements gaining political support across several EU member states. Parties such as the National Front in France, the Alternative for Germany (AfD), and the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) gained traction, advocating for stricter immigration controls, border security, and reduced migrant intake. Their influence translated into policy shifts, as governments responded to the public sentiment by adopting stricter immigration policies, reinforcing border controls, and increasing deportation rates. One notable consequence of the rise of far-right movements has been the erosion of support for asylum seekers and refugees. These movements have propagated narratives associating migration with increased crime rates and threats to national security. While empirical evidence has consistently debunked such claims, the perpetuation of these ideas has influenced public opinion and policy-making processes. As a result, asylum systems in some EU member states have become more restrictive, with greater emphasis on deportations and deterrent measures aimed at dissuading potential migrants.

The influence of far-right movements on immigration policies is also reflected in the externalization of border control. In an effort to manage migration flows, the EU has established agreements and partnerships with countries in North Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey, Libya, and Morocco, to prevent migrants from reaching European shores. These agreements have faced criticism due to human rights concerns and allegations of inhumane treatment of migrants. Nonetheless, the rise of far-right movements has reinforced the political will to externalize border control, resulting in policies that prioritize containment over humanitarian considerations.

As we consider the influence of far-right movements on immigration from the 2015 crisis to the present, it is important to highlight the consequences for migrants and asylum seekers themselves. Restrictive policies and anti-immigrant sentiment can create a hostile environment, perpetuating discrimination and marginalization. The lack of safe and legal pathways can push migrants towards dangerous and irregular migration routes, exposing them to exploitation and human rights abuses. 

Written by: Nenad Stekić

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