European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2018
Refugee Crisis in Europe, an Identification Identity Crisis of a Divided
Europe in Political Unity
Abstract: Cosmopolitan Europe’, the normative commitment that is widely understood to undergird the
project of the European Union, is under threat as never before. The number of refugees across Europe is at an
alarming high and is expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. As a result, finding durable
solutions for refugees has become a major challenge worldwide.
Keywords: Refugee; Crisis; European Union; Asylum
Europe is facing its most significant refugee crisis since the end of the S econd World War. Over 4
million refugees have been displaced by fighting in Syria, joining millions more fleeing war,
terrorism, oppression, and poverty in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Eritrea. The vast
majority of these refugees are being hosted in neighbouring countries, but some are making the
dangerous journey to Europe.
How should European governments respond to the influx? Should more money be invested in securing
Europe’s common borders? Or is tackling the root causes of the refugee crisis in countries like Syria a
more sustainable solution than building walls and fences to keep people out? Is the crisis putting an
nbearable strain on the Schengen agreement of passport free travel in the EU?
Europe tore down borders after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Then a flood of refugees fleeing
wars on its doorstep put some of those fences back up. In 2015, Europe's biggest wave of displaced
people since World War II created scenes of desperate families stuck in barbed-wire camps and
children drowned trying to reach its shores. The crisis abated after Turkey agreed to block the flow of
people. But it exposed deep divisions within the 28-member European Union over how to handle
asylum-seekers escaping conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The drama has also raised
questions about the EU’s commitment to its passport-free zone — one of the bloc’s crowning
achievements — as leaders squabbled over balancing moral and legal obligations with anti-immigrant
1 Student, Faculty of Law, Danubius University Galati, Address: 3 Galati Blvd., Galati 800654, Romania, Tel.:
+40372361102, E-mail: email@example.com.
2 (Stearns, Europe's Refugee)