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

Dinner with friends: how Switzerland is relaxing its coronavirus lockdown

Across Europe, people are struggling to make ends meet. We need a common response immediately.

Mindfulness: a freedom we can still have in the pandemic

Hate speech exacerbating societal, racial tensions with ‘deadly consequences around the world’, say UN experts

GSMA Announces First Keynote Speakers for 2019 “MWC Los Angeles, in Partnership with CTIA”

Erasmus+ and its predecessors: a life-changing experience for 10 million young Europeans

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

These are the world’s least – and most – corrupt countries

UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

The London City-EU connection holds despite of Brexit and the ban of LSE-Deutsche Börse merger

On their epic journeys, migratory birds connect nations and inspire people, UN says on World Day

What is systemic racism, and how can we combat it?

This Pacific island has banned fishing to allow the marine ecosystem to recover

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

Do we judge robots on their colour? This study says we do

Austria: reforms will be necessary to uphold high well-being levels

$1.4 billion needed this year to fund UN’s agency for Palestine refugees

Here’s why leaders need to care about mental health

‘Complacency is still strong’ over stopping genocide, says top UN adviser

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

UN chief hails Libyan leaders’ agreement to hold general election

The missiles fired against Damascus, Syria divided Europe deeply

UN Human Rights Council resolution on youth and human rights: a step forward for youth rights

Public health through universal health coverage can help to attain many SDGs

EU summit: Are the London Tories planning an exit from the EU?

The Amazon is reaching a dangerous tipping-point. We need to scale solutions now if we have any chance of saving it

UN expert condemns new sentence for jailed Venezuelan judge as ‘another instance of reprisal’

2 trillion drinks containers are made every year – so where do they go?

UK: Customs Union with EU or a longer delay of Brexit

Number of members in Parliament’s committees to change after Brexit

UN forum to explore use of outer space to improve lives, protect planet

A ‘charismatic leader’ dedicated to making the world a better place for all: officials bid farewell to former UN chief Kofi Annan

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2014: The Digital Era: A New Business Frontier

Mental health: what can be done to diminish increasing suicide rates?

Towards a seamless internal EU market for industrial goods

Cash for babies: How Europe is tackling its falling birthrate

5 reasons to be more cheerful about the future of the oceans

How does your immune system work?

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Time to make a fundamental choice about the future of healthcare

Fairer and clearer rules on social benefits for EU mobile workers agreed

A new kind of company is revolutionising Africa’s gig economy

How LA plans to be 1.6°C cooler by 2050

Global Goals top General Assembly President’s priority list

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

WHO chief underscores need to address climate change following visit to Bahamas

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

Africa is helping the drone industry get off the ground. Here’s how

Banks get new capital for free and citizens pay the bill

Circular Plastics Alliance: 100+ signatories commit to use 10 million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ericsson/Cisco partnership on track, insist execs

Youth for Climate Change

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

The energy industry is changing. Are governments switched on?

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

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