European Union to Hold Summit on Refugee Crisis
By admin November 6, 2015


On November 11th and 12th, 2015, the European Union (EU) will hold a migration summit in Valletta, Malta, with African stakeholders, including members of the Rabat and Khartoum migration processes, representatives of the African Union commission, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The summit builds on the EU-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Mobility, and is the result of calls by the European Council for such a summit in April 2015. The focus areas will be on: addressing the root causes of migration, organizing legal migration channels, protecting vulnerable migrants, ending exploitation and trafficking of migrants, and improving cooperation on return and readmission.

The EU announced on November 5th that more than 700,000 refugees and migrants had arrived in Europe so far in 2015, and that another 3 million are expected in 2016. 190,000 children have so far claimed asylum in Europe this year, according to UNICEF. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that 218,394 migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe in October 2015 alone. There are likely to be more refugees than officially recorded, and many applications for asylum are rejected.

The main routes into the EU are through the Western Balkan countries, and the Eastern and Central Mediterranean. Strain is being placed on countries that are entry points, including Greece, Italy and Hungary. So far, 3,138 migrants have died attempting to reach Europe in 2015. 3,279 died in 2014.

Syria is not the only place migrants are fleeing from, although it is responsible for the largest number. Migrants are also coming from Kosovo, Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq, Pakistan, Eritrea, Serbia, Ukraine, Yemen and Nigeria.

EU ministers have pledged to relocate 120,000 refugees throughout Europe. The plan will happen in phases, with 66,000 migrants currently located in Italy and Greece being relocated first, and then 54,000 in Hungary, eventually. The UK has agreed to take 4,000 refugees per year directly from camps close to Syria, although it will refuse any who make it to Europe of their own accord. Germany is the top destination for migrants, with more than 200,000 asylum applications. Hungary was the second most popular destination. Below is a graph comparing European countries’ wealth, size and acceptance of refugees.


Studies have shown that flows of refugees into a population have either long-term positive or neutral effects on the local economy. It has not been shown to cause deep unemployment or large numbers of displaced local laborers. The Valletta Summit may eventually create a better situation for the thousands of refugees fleeing their homes; at the very least, it will provide a good start.

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