Europe’s migrant crisis

Europe’s migrant crisis
Leaders of European and African nations held wide-ranging talks to address the migration crisis in Europe. The European countries have agreed to help Chad and Niger with their border..

Leaders of European and African nations held wide-ranging talks to address the migration crisis in Europe.

The European countries have agreed to help Chad and Niger with their border controls as a result.

Background

Europe is at the center of a crisis sparked by migration. In 2015 alone more than a million migrants and refugees crossed into Europe. A number of countries in the continent struggled to handle the influx of people entering their territories. Countries within the EU have had disagreements on how best to deal with the problem while also helping those seeking refuge.

Much of the migration from Africa comes to Italy. According to figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 98,072 people came from Africa to Italy from January 2017 to August 23rd, 2017. Italy has worked with Libya to address migration. It should be noted that compared to the same period last year, Italy saw 7,000 fewer migrants reaching its shores.

Analysis

Leaders from African and European countries were invited to Paris to discuss a solution to stem migration to Europe. The meeting was convened by French President, Emmanuel Macron. The heads of Niger and Chad were present as well as Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of the Libyan government that is backed by the UN. These countries are in the transit route for most who flee Africa in order to escape oppression and violence.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish and Italian Prime Ministers Mariano Rajoy and Paulo Gentiloni, and Europe's top diplomat Federica Mogherini were also present. Britain, which had earlier played a prominent role in such talks was conspicuously missing. This could be because EU is slowly phasing out Britain’s participation due to Brexit.

The European nations have agreed to help Chad and Niger to help improve their border controls. Macron said, “The idea is to create hotspots to avoid people taking crazy risks when they are not all eligible for asylum. We'll go to them.” He also noted that the meeting was amongst the most effective ones that has been held in the recent past. He added, “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient. It’s a challenge as much for the EU as for the African Union."

Paolo Gentiloni, the Italian Prime Minister, expressed some skepticism regarding the efficiency of such talks. He said, “I am suspicious of those who promise you a miracle solution to these issues. The effort [to limit illegal immigration] must be made by all of Europe, not just a few countries … We cannot act alone against these flows of irregular migration.”

Idriss Déby Itno, the President of Chad also struck a skeptical note stating that factors like poverty and a lack of education should be taking into account by the EU and African Union nations while dealing with migration.  

Assessment

Our assessment is that given the instability that exists with multiple African nations, it is unlikely the migration and refugee crisis will be solved in the near future. However, it is important for such nations to work together to ensure that people are saved and no one is affected in the long run. 

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