At the present time, the European Union finds itself in the midst of a migration crisis, in which large numbers of people from other nations are seeking to enter Europe. The purpose of the present sample essay provided by Ultius is to discuss this situation in greater depth, in the fashion of an expository essay. The essay will have four parts. The first part will provide a general overview of the situation. The second part will consider some of the causes of the situation. The third part will discuss on the implications of the situation for the European Union as a whole. Finally, the fourth part will reflect on what can perhaps be expected from this situation as the world moves into the future. The current events sample essay was written by an expert essay writer.
Overview of the Situation
To start with, then Park has discussed the migration crisis in Europe in the following way: “Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing” (paragraph 1). The fundamental issue at hand, then consists of the fact that a large number of people from several regions of the world are fleeing their home countries and seeking asylum within the European Union. This is not a simple matter of illegal immigration: insofar as the migrants actually do have legitimate reasons for wanting to flee from their homelands, they are eligible for the protections generally afforded to refugees under several international conventions and protocols. But the point still remains, of course, that the European Union must somehow deal with this influx of people into its constituent nations.
One of the main points about this situation that has been covered by the news has consisted of the fact that many migrants have in fact died while attempting to make the journey into Europe. Kitsantonis, for example, reported the following regarding a very recent incident: “The Greek Coast Guard recovered the bodies of 34 migrants, including 15 children, on Sunday in the Aegean Sea after their wooden boat flipped over in strong winds as it attempted the short but often perilous crossing from nearby Turkey” (paragraph 1). Greece has been a favored crossing point into Europe for many of the migrants involved in the current situation, for obvious geographical reasons; and this means that the primary route of entry is across the Aegean Sea (Kakissis). However, given the lack of regulation in the migration process and potentially inadequate vessels of transportation, the migrants are in fact putting themselves in substantial danger. Many have drowned thus far, and this could be expected to continue happening unless some kind of legal oversight and regulation is introduced into the situation.
Tasch and Nudelman have provided a good map of the flow of migrants into the European Union. According to this map, the migrants emerge from a broad range of nations in Africa and the Middle East, including Libya, Mali, Tunisia, Yemen, and Syria. The migrants tend to head toward major cities on the coast including Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya, Cairo in Egypt, and Istanbul in Turkey. From this point, the migrants seek to cross into Europe, primarily through the nations of Greece and Italy. Their final destination, however, is generally further north, with Germany and Scandinavia being popular targets. Insofar as the current situation is a migration crisis, though, it would seem that it is the duty of the European Union as a whole, and not just its individual constituent nations, to formulate and implement a coherent policy and address the situation in an effective way. Efforts in this regard will be discussed a little later on. For now, though, perhaps it would be worthwhile to turn to a consideration of the underlying causes of the current situation.
Causes of the Situation
One of the main causes of the current migration crisis clearly consists of political turmoil and instability in the homelands of the migrants. As Park has written, for example: “Political upheaval in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia is reshaping migration trends in Europe. The number of illegal border-crossing detections in the EU [European Union] started to surge in 2011, as thousands of Tunisians started to arrive at the Italian island of Lampedusa following the onset of the Arab Spring” (paragraph 2). Events such as the Arab Spring, then, have produced instability in many nations in the Middle East and Africa; this instability has disrupted the livelihoods of many people; and those people then seek to migrate to the European Union in order to take refuge from the chaos in their homelands. Although this is a broad sketch, it nevertheless captures the essence of the main causes underlying the current migration crisis within the European Union.
Analyzing the situation in a more detailed way, Trofimov has pointed out that in a certain sense, the migration crisis at the present time is a result of Western action—or lack thereof—within the Middle East over the past several year. As he has written: “Over the past four years, 250,000 Syrians have died, most of them killed by the Assad regime against which the West has refused to intervene. More than half the population has been forced to flee their homes” (paragraph 2). These refugees initially fled to neighboring nations such as Turkey and Jordan, but they are now increasingly making their way to Europe. Trofimov’s point would seem to be that if the United States and the European Union had more effectively intervened to prevent political upheaval in the Middle East, then the present migration crisis could have been avoided, since the migrants would not have felt compelled to leave their homelands in the first place.
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Implications for the European Union
At the present time, the European Union would seem to be more or less scrambling to pull together a workable and coherent policy that can enable it to deal with the migration crisis in an effective way. The nation of Hungary, for example, has come under criticism for the actions it has taken recently against the migrants: “The Hungarian riot police fired tear gas and water cannons at hundreds of migrants after they tried to push through a gate at the border with Serbia. The use of force by the Hungarian authorities, a turning point in the migration crisis, drew criticism from the United Nations” (Eddy, Orovic, and Bilefsky, paragraph 14). It has been generally understood that it is not acceptable to treat the migrants in this way; however, the event in a way highlights the tensions and frustrations that have come to characterize the efforts of both individual nations and the European Union as a whole to respond to the situation in a meaningful way.
Within this context, it is noteworthy that Chancellor Merkel, the leader of Germany, has “called for an emergency summit to address the European Union’s migration crisis, escalating Berlin’s plea for help from other countries in the bloc and trying to counter criticism that she has exacerbated the crisis by opening Germany’s doors to refugees” (paragraph 1). This can be read as an effort to shift the frame of the current situation away from the level of individual nations and toward the level of the European Union as a whole. One aspect of such an effort would consist of working toward distributing migrants across the different nations of the European Union, on the basis of the varying capacities of the individual nations to actually cope with the influx of migrants into their populations.
At the present time, then, it can be suggested that a critical issue that has emerged regarding the migration crisis consists of the tensions that exist between the individual European nations and the larger entity of the European Union. Different nations, for example, seem to have different attitudes toward the migrants, as well as varying levels of willingness to establish border controls, allow the migrants in, or for that matter engage in any other form of action regarding the situations. Moreover, for European nations that are not in fact popular final destinations for the migrants, there may be a kind of vested incentive for the nations to dissociate themselves from the European Union, insofar as identifying with the European Union would require the nations to bear the burden of a problem that they would otherwise be able to avoid. So, although there is an emerging tendency on the part of the European Union to form a coherent policy regarding the migration crisis, there is also a countervailing tendency on the part of at least some individual nations to treat the matter as a national and not a European issue.
Reflection on the Future
Moving into the future, it can be suggested that the European response to the migration crisis can be expected to go along one of two main tracks. The first track would consist of the European Union as a whole formulating a coherent and humane policy through which migrants are granted the asylum they need, while efforts are also taken to attempt to address the problem at the roots by stabilizing the migrants’ home nations. If the European Union as a whole proves able to act effectively in the situation, then this is almost surely how the resolution will unfold. This is based on the general ethos of the European Union itself: the organization itself is premised on some ideal of transnational human unity, and this would clearly need to be reflected in its response to the migration crisis. In short, simply shutting the doors to the migrants would be antithetical to what the European Union is presumably all about.
The second potential track is a considerably darker one and has to do with the rising tide of nationalistic ideology within many European nations. As Taub has written: “People in those countries, insecure and fearful over the effects of immigration, preoccupied with vague but long-held ideas about national identity, are driving nativist, populist politics, and thus policies that contribute to the crisis” (paragraph 5). If these sentiments gain the upper hand, then the response to the migration crisis may move in the direction of simply shutting the doors to all migrants, or at the very least stigmatizing the migrants and thereby setting them up for poor treatment within Europe. Moreover, if the situation unfolds along this track, then it could be expected that the individual European nations will increasingly dissociate themselves from the European Union, on the grounds that both the policy initiatives of the European Union as well as the European Union as such undermine the value of national identity. Insofar as this would potentially lead into a time of sectarianism and intolerance, the suggestion can be made that this track should be avoided if at all possible, and that it would by far be preferable for the European Union to develop a cooperative solution that is in accordance with both humanitarian values and the rule of international law.
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In summary, this essay has consisted of a discussion of the current migration crisis within the European Union. It has been pointed out here that the crisis is primarily being driven by political instability in the homelands of the migrants, and that the European Union is finding itself hard-pressed to develop a policy framework that can help it cope with the situation in an effective way. At the present time, a key priority clearly consists of developing such a framework. Without this, individual nations may begin increasingly taking matters into their own hands, which would likely only end up exacerbating the crisis.
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Eddy, Melissa, Joseph Orovic, and Dan Bilefsky. “Europe Lacks Strategy to Tackle Crisis, but Migrants March On.” New York Times. 17 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Kakissis, Joanna. “The Migrant Crisis on Greece’s Islands.” New Yorker. 22 May 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. islands>.
Kitsantonis, Niki. “Dozens of Migrants Drown as Boat Capsizes in Aegean Sea.” New York Times. 13 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Park, Jean. “Europe’s Migration Crisis.” Council on Foreign Relations, 16 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Tasch, Barbara, and Mike Nudelman. “This Map Shows the Routes of Europe’s Refugee Nightmare—And How It’s Getting Worse.” Business Insider. 15 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Taub, Amanda. “Europe’s Refugee Crisis, Explained.” Vox. 5 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Trofimov, Yaroslav. “Europe and U.S. Pay the Cost of Inaction against Syria’s Assad.” Wall Street Journal. 17 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. .
Troianovski, Anton. “German, Austrian Leaders Urge EU Summit to Address Migrant Crisis.” Wall Street Journal. 15 Sep. 2015. Web. 17 Sep. 2015. migrant-crisis-1442327880>.