Europe’s response to the so-called ‘migration crisis’ has been driven almost exclusively by a border control agenda. This has significantly reduced the number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece, for the time being at least, but has done nothing to address the drivers or causes of migration to Europe, including the movement of people from Libya which continues unabated, or the protection and integration needs of those who are already here.
Several years into the ‘crisis’, there is still no sign of a coherent long-term response. Both the reception infrastructure and the asylum system in Greece have failed to adapt to the needs of the refugees and migrants. This is partly a Greek failure but it is also a failure of the EU. Meanwhile escalating conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq continue to displace hundreds of thousands of people from their homes every day. The assault on Mosul (Iraq) which began in mid-October 2016 is expected to displace 1.5 million people, many of whom are likely to cross the border into Eastern Turkey just a few hours away.
Understanding the dynamics of migration to Europe and why some of these people might decide to risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean remains a pressing concern.
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