Schengen is losing ground fast revealing Europe’s clear inability to deal with migration crisis

Press conference by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner in Charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, on the adoption of final Visa Liberalisation Reports for Georgia, Ukraine, and Kosovo. © European Union, 2015 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Georges Boulougouris.

Press conference by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner in Charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, on the adoption of final Visa Liberalisation Reports for Georgia, Ukraine, and Kosovo. © European Union, 2015 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Georges Boulougouris.

It was last Monday when Sweden decided to impose ID-checks at its borders with Denmark. Of course, this action didn’t remain unanswered by Denmark which tightened controls at its southern border with Germany. This anti-Schengen spirit has been created by the influx of migrants and refugees coming to Europe daily in thousands and is meant to stop undocumented migrants from reaching the aforementioned countries. EU member states are realizing the fact that Europe cannot put an end to this crisis and are taking measures in order to protect themselves.

The year that recently ended was the most intense in terms of migration and refugee waves coming to Europe from countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. This crisis has divided the Old Continent leading to the creation of border controls, fences and walls, increased the popularity of anti-migration extremist political parties and is responsible for the thousands of deaths of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean or the Aegean sea by boat.

But instead of focusing and target to the causes of this crisis, a more individualistic approach is being taken. As Mark Rhinard, an expert on the European Union at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs said: “It’s basically every country for itself now”. Hence, when countries such as Sweden, which was famous for its humanitarian spirit shown to all Syrians fleeing their country in order to escape from war conditions (received more than 160.000 refugees), are imposing ID checks to reduce the incoming migrants, then one could seriously worry who is going to support the Schengen after all.

Is Schengen agreement doomed to fail?

Denmark’s decision to impose controls at its borders with Germany led to the “furious” reaction of the latter stating that Schengen could well be doomed to fall. German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said: “Schengen is very important but it is in danger.” Furthermore, German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the rest of the bloc for a “joint European solution” on the issue. Her spokesman Steffen Seibert mentioned also added that: “The solution won’t take place on national borders between country A and country B”.

However, there are quite a few European countries (e.g. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia) which have already openly expressed their anti-migrant sentiment thus putting in great risk the Schengen agreement. What is more, senior officials involved in the policy-making have already been expressing the terrible failure probability of Schengen. More specifically, an ambassador in Brussels stated that: “If the flow of refugees is not slowed down in four to six months, people really think Schengen is in terminal trouble”.

According to Abc news, the European Commission “is expected to unveil in March “targeted” modifications to the rulebook that would tighten the external borders and improve Europe’s asylum application rules”. Migration crisis is changing Europe one way or another. The question that matters the most though is whether EU will come out more united or strongly divided after experiencing the full range of this crisis’ consequences.

EU’s inability to overcome Schengen’s fracture

Europe has taken measures especially during 2015 in order to reduce the negative consequences of the migration crisis which has become one of the “hot” issues in the European Commission’s agenda.

However, despite its efforts, only 160.000 refugees have been relocated from Greece and Italy to the rest EU countries so far in a plan to spread migrants more evenly across Europe. This plan has been receiving great resistance if one imagines that 1 million refugees have crossed into the bloc only in 2015 according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

It seems that the EU is unable to implement mandatory measures to its member states to receive further refugees leaving it to their voluntary discretion. And this will keep on deteriorating since the terrorist attacks in Paris last November after which France imposed border controls with its neighboring countries and the climate of fear that has been created in the event of future terrorist attacks.

Moreover, the EU economy will also be “injured” by the border controls that are imposed by many of its countries. This will have a direct impact on the EU citizens and companies which are transferring goods making their jobs far more difficult. Particularly, Mark Rhinard, expert on the European Union at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, said: “As soon as it starts to bite economically, people are going to start to ask: Is this the right solution to the problem?'”.

All in all, Schengen is most likely about to change in order to survive in an area where refugees’ crisis seems to be the Gordian knot for the EU officials and member states, revealing the long existing structural flaws of the project.

Follow Chris on Twitter @CAnyfantis

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Yellow vests, rising violence – what’s happening in France?

Illegal fishing plagues the Pacific Ocean. Here’s how to end it

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

Portugal wants its emigrants back – so it’s paying them to return

Will the UK really have the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe, as a US study suggests?

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

Rare Disease Day: a new EU platform to support better diagnosis and treatment

Technology is a force for peace and prosperity. Don’t let its challenges obscure this

TTIP’s 11th round starts in Miami but EU-US businesses see no sunny side

The ECB accuses the politicians of inaction, continues injecting billions to banks

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

JADE Generations Club 2015: Knowledge vs. competences – Do not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen

These are the top countries for travel and tourism in 2019

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

Car emissions: MEPs set end on gap between lab and real driving emission tests

Fairer food supply chain: Agriculture MEPs clamp down on unfair trading

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Trade barriers: EU removes record number in response to surge in protectionism

EU budget 2021-2027: Commission calls on leaders to set out a roadmap towards an autumn agreement

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commissioner Mimica looks at how the private sector can better deliver for international development

Business should be joyful – just ask the sports world

How racism spread around the world alongside COVID-19

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

4 key ways countries can finance their SDG ambitions

Coronaviruses: the truth against the myths

India can soar in the robot age. This is how

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

These countries have the highest minimum wages

In Sweden you can roam anywhere you like, without the landowner’s permission

World is ‘on notice’ as major UN report shows one million species face extinction

WHO and UNICEF in campaign to protect 1.6 million in Sudan from cholera

COP21 Breaking News: “We must accelerate the process”, Laurent Fabius cries out from Paris

UN and partners call for solidarity, as Venezuelans on the move reach 4.5 million

Ten new migratory species protected under global wildlife agreement

COP21 Breaking News: Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation Announced

The EU finally seizes the opportunity to support the sharing economy?

Western Balkans’ leaders meeting: EU reinforces support to address COVID-19 crisis and outlines proposal for post-pandemic recovery

Estonia: use robust growth to improve income equality and well-being

Here’s how a circular economy could change the world by 2030

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

How Africa and Asia are joining forces on universal healthcare

Our indispensable problem: the paradox of modern plastics

Iran-US attack in Iraq: Guterres pledges ‘active engagement’ in further de-escalation efforts

FROM THE FIELD: Changing world, changing families

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

MEPs to debate priorities for 28-29 June EU summit

Changing world of work needs new jobs strategy

EU-wide penalties for money laundering: deal with Council

Opposite cultures: Should it be a problem?

UN experts decry torture of Rakhine men and boys held incommunicado by Myanmar’s military

Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

5 ways to swim, not sink, as part of a ‘liquid workforce’

Israel is joining forces with Arab states to save coral from climate change destruction

COP21 Breaking News_12 December: 195 countries adopt the First Universal Climate Agreement

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s