Asylum Seeking Refugees Essay

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Over two years ago, the United Nations first warned that there are more than sixty million people around the world that had been forcibly displaced, which is the highest it has ever been since World War Two. The war in Syria has been the single largest driver of refugees in the world. According to Acer (2016), the conflict in Syria has displaced more than eleven million people and about five million have fled the country. Although most of the Syrian refugees are being hosted in neighboring countries, “Europe is experiencing one of the most significant influxes of migrants and refugees in its history.” European leaders and policymakers are now faced with the tough decision of dealing with what many claim to be, “the biggest refugee crisis …show more content…
By analyzing the current political positions of European leaders and policy makers on the refugee crisis I have come to the conclusion that the fear and threat of terrorism and the rising wave of xenophobia are the factors preventing a collective EU response to the refugee crisis.

The Common European Asylum System
In order to fully grasp what factors prevent an EU collective response, it is important to first analyze the policies in place for the EU to deal with the asylum seeking refugees. According to the European Commission, “Asylum is granted to people fleeing persecution or serious harm in their own country and therefore in need of international protection.” “Asylum is a fundamental right; granting it is an international obligation, under the 1951 Geneva Convention on the protection of refugees.” In the EU, an area of open borders and freedom of movement, member states need to have a joint approach to guarantee high standards of protection for refugees. With this in mind, EU member states have committed to establish a Common European Asylum System (CEAS) in 1999. The CEAS consists of a set of directives called Asylum Procedures,
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Many EU member states were already reluctant on being a part of the relocation agreement to relocate 160,000 refugees and the horrific terrorist attacks made matters even worse. Not only does terrorism breed fear and islamophobia it also feeds into the rise of these anti-immigrant right wing nationalist parties that have an underlying xenophobic rhetoric. To fully grasp the effect terrorism has had on an EU collective response, I will be analyzing the political positions of European leaders and policy makers on the refugee crisis after the terrorist attacks in Paris and more recently in Brussels and the rise of xenophobia in anti-immigrant right wing nationalist

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