Is There a Chance of a New Refugee Crisis in Europe?
5 years ago, the conflict in Syria left more than 6 million people displaced and countries in Europe were flooded with millions and millions of refugees who were trying to find a safe space for themselves and their loved ones. Now, in 2020, could there be another crisis?
Countries Syrians Fled To
It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact number of Syrian refugees, but around 1.6 million can be found in Lebanon and Jordan. Some found their way to Iraq, which is faced with its own displacement problem.
The trouble began for Europe. From Turkey, the migrants tried reaching Greece and Bulgaria, some of them hoping to end up in Italy and Germany. Countries like Croatia and Hungary closed off their borders and refused to accept all but the barest minimum of refugees. There was fear, panic, and a strong impact on the European economy.
Attack in Idlib
33 Turkish soldiers were killed in an attack in Idlib and the conflicts continue to escalate. As a result, Turkey has decided to reneg on the 2016 pact designed to curb immigration to Europe. Turkey is giving an ultimatum to Europe, as it houses 3.5 million refugees. If the EU and NATO do not get sufficiently invested in resolving the Syrian conflict as the cause of the migration, we may very well be looking at the same scenario from five years ago.
It is very likely that this new wave of immigrants would follow the same pattern as the previous one, as the borders Turkey is considering to open are those to Greece and Bulgaria. Greece has already started planning for new detention centers on its islands and there is no telling how the potential new migration crisis is going to affect the country.
Greece has requested an additional 260 million euros from the EU in order to accommodate new detention camps for the existing refugees, while the local on the islands riot in refusal of accepting refugees, claiming there is no more room.
Of course, not all migrants are going to be welcome. The newcomers are going to face vetting and if they do not meet the criteria, they may be deported. This, however, is a very difficult process, as Turkey refuses to take the refugees back.
So, Is It a New Crisis?
Not yet. The trouble in Syria is likely not going to stop soon, but there needs to be a more serious involvement from the EU and NATO in the resolution of the conflict. Russia currently supports Syria, which complicates matters, and Europe could be on the verge of accepting over 3 million refugees.
Seeing as how the previous migration crisis has sparked a combination of panic, nationalistic sentiments, and economic turmoil, Europe should do everything it can to prevent the occurrence. Barring that, yes, there is going to be a migration crisis in Europe similar to the one in 2015.
One of the big issues with the potential migration crisis is the call to close the borders everywhere to prevent the spreading of the COVID-19, which has now infected over 80 thousand people. Many countries could be looking at a scenario of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Closed borders may be the solution to both problems for Europe, but there is still a lot of pressure from Turkey and the refugees that could break through.