European Refugee Crisis – UPSC/IAS/CAPF/CDS/SSB



  • Huge numbers of refugees are moving to European countries since 2011.
  • These refuges are mainly coming from countries of West Asia like Syria, Libya and Afghanistan etc. They are migrating from their native land to European countries for peace, stability and employment.
  • Now a day, countries of west Asia mainly Syria is facing problem of civil war. Syrian civil war is one of the most brutal conflicts of the world.
  • According to International Organisation for Migration(IOM) statistics, more than 5 lakh people have crossed the EU to enter in these countries by sea and land.
  • Most of them are from Syria troubled not only by civil war but also by the most violent and inhumane atrocities by ISIS.
  • Syria is not the single source. Refugees are also coming from middle east(Afghanistan, Iraq), Africa(Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, Eritrea), South Asia and Central Asia.
  • This whole situation has been developed as a crisis and this crisis is called European Refugee Crisis.
  • The phrase “European Migrant Crisis” became widely used in 2015, when five boats carrying almost 2,000 migrants sank in the meditarrean sea. In this incident almost 1,200 migrants lost their lives.

Some Statistics

  • According to United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 59.5 million people were forcibly displaced in 2014 and which again rose considerably in 2015.
  • A large number of migrants reached to the European Union borders in recent months.
  • In 2014, around 24,000 migrants applied for asylum in Europe. Many of them are children at the age group of 15 to 17 with no formal schooling and which again added a another headache to host countries.

European Union response on migrant crisis

  • Britain and other European countries are strictly rejecting application for asylum.
  • Right – Wing PM of Hungry has fenced its border with razor wire. He has appealed with refugees not to try and cross the Hungry’s border.
  • Bulgaria, Czech, Slovakia and Poland are reluctant to accept any migrant into their countries. They believe that it will create problems for their countries.
  • But on the other hand, Germany is accepting migrants into her country and they have accepted almost 1 million applications for asylum.
  • After extensive criticisms by Media and Human rights bodies, EU with other countries is trying to take favorable steps.
  • Recently Pope Francis had given a statement that every church in Europe should take a refugee family and this step has given a new hope for refugees that it may change the mood of European right’s wing mind.
  • Now, many countries has started to take more refugee peacefully.
  • European people have been welcoming refugees with water, food, shoes and blankets.
  • Italy, Greece and Hungry are the frontline countries of accepting refugees in their homeland.
  • Germany, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland has also become a destination for immigrants.

Why are refugees moving to Europe?

  • Europe is the most preferred destination for the people because it is economically prosperous, socially secure and has friendly immigration laws.
  • Europe is the nearest land and it seems that it is their immediate hope as they can trek or use boats or ships to reach.

Macro level causes for refugees crisis

  1. West Asia
  • A short and quick look in history will show us that countries who are responsible for this are none other than USA and EU.
  • Middle East can be said as the holy grail of west since oil was accidently found by two American gentlemen in Saudi Arabia.
  • S and Europe have always tried to grab their oil reservoirs for their own benefit and this has created several crisis in the middle east. Iraq and Syria are the witness of their greed.
  • Before finding oil, European colonialism in these countries had sucked all its wealth and when time came to leave the place, Imperial powers had left them without solving their issues created by them mainly land disputes within neighbors. For example, Israel and Palestine issue.
  1. Dictatorship regimes and Islamic fundamentalism
  • Continuous dictatorship type regimes and Islamic fundamentalism made middle east most volatile and disturbed planet on the Earth.
  • Western powers in order to make their oil supply smooth and to be part of Gulf boom started in early 80’s always took a partial stand on these issues.
  1. Shia – Sunni divide
  • Shia – Sunni divide among people, society and regime has led to many conflicts.
  • For example, Iraq – Iran war, Iraq – Kuwait war and Syrian Civil War etc.
  1. ISIS(Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)
  • Emergence of ISIS has just sky rocketed the whole situation. Presence of ISIS made people life more worsened in Syria. People have become sandwiched between atrocities of ISIS and ineffective regimes.
  • People are facing problems of hunger, poverty and tyranny an now only way left to survive for them is to initiate long walk towards Europe.


  • Finding a formula based solution is not practical but it is time that Europe and US should sit together and re-check their neo-imperialistic and double faced policies in west Asia and middle east.
  • West European powers should stop Saudi Arabia for funding Wahabis ideology being spread in Middle East society which is resulting in more radical Islamic fundamentalism helping organisations like ISIS and Boko – Haram.
  • GCC countries should accept refugees in their land.
  • If U.S will push back the refugees then such stupidity will create problem and for surviving their lives they may join ISIS.
  • Turkey should end its anonymity with Kurds and involve them to find a practical solution for this problem.
  • Involving Russia and USA together, ISIS can be defeated and destroyed.


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