Assessments

Summer Weather Will Rekindle Europe's Migration Debate

Jun 27, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
Refugees and migrants stand at a port upon arriving at the Greek island of Lesbos on March 7, 2020.

Refugees and migrants stand at a port upon arriving at the Greek island of Lesbos on March 7, 2020.

(LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)

The summer months will see an uptick in the arrival of migrants to Europe by sea and land, though a repetition of the 2015 crisis is unlikely. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, however, even a moderate increase in migrants will risk further destabilizing the Continent’s already fraught economic and political environment.  The European Union will increase controls of its external borders and seek to improve the expulsion irregular migrants, but the introduction of mandatory quotas to more evenly distribute migrants across the bloc is improbable. This means the migration burden will continue to fall on Mediterranean states (who are already facing some of the deepest recessions due to COVID-19), as well as the bloc’s largest economies such as Germany. The Turkish-Greek border, in particular, will become especially volatile due to Ankara’s ongoing disputes with both Brussels and Athens....

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