THE EUROPEAN MIGRATION CRISIS – ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL FACTORS AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE
Until 2014 the problem of migration was discussed primarily in the context of free movement of people and the asylum policies of selected countries. Since 2014 the European Union (EU) has been facing one of the deepest political and social crises, namely the migration crisis. The stance adopted on this issue by individual Member States has demonstrated great divergence between countries in terms of their understanding of the notion of “solidarity”. In 2015 alone, over a million migrants arrived in the EU, creating an urgent need to develop adequate solutions and mechanisms that would help to manage this influx and prevent its negative effects. The need for tight cooperation and support for the countries affected must lead to the development of a long-term strategy for the future.
The article introduces selected theoretical issues that may be applied in describing the current situation in migration crisis. The article offers a brief overview of the steps undertaken on the European level in response to the migration crisis and analyses their effectiveness. At the same time the author discusses the reaction of Member States, taking into consideration the fundamental principles of solidarity, openness to new countries or the global role of the EU. The article emphasises the economic implications of the crisis and its impact on the political dimension of the EU in the future. The article is based on a literature review and analysis of documents published by European institutions and distinguished research centres. A substantial section of the article is devoted to Member States’ obligations stemming directly from EU primary legislation.
This article is founded upon the belief that, at the European level, the right measures have been proposed to resolve the ongoing crisis. The lack of understanding of the fundamental principles governing the European integration process has resulted in the current difficulties. The negative reaction of different countries to the migration crisis in the EU is likely to lead to new scenarios in the integration process. A highly probable consequence is the transformation of the EU into “the EU of two speeds”. This may pose a serious threat to the catching-up countries, as they may become only supporting actors of the European integration process. The discussion between EU Member States with respect to fulfilling the resettlement obligation is entirely unjustified, as the legal mandate of the European Commission stems directly from the Treaties.