EU’s migration crisis deepens

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a press conference on the migration crisis
Berlin, August 31, 2015: Chancellor Angela Merkel during the fateful press conference when she threw Germany’s door wide open to migrants and assured her compatriots, “Wir schaffen das” (“We will manage it”) (source dpa)
  • The migration crisis revealed a dangerous rift on fundamental values between EU member states
  • The Schengen Agreement is teetering on the brink of collapse
  • European societies are not structured to absorb a large number of poorly skilled laborers
  • No state can expect to keep both its borders open and its welfare system generous
  • The political crisis is certain to worsen as EU states remain unable to formulate a common policy response

On August 31, 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel triggered a fundamental change in the European Union’s immigration policy. Without prior consultation with anyone, she announced that Syrian refugees arriving in Germany via Hungary and Austria would not be sent back. This voided the EU’s Dublin Regulation, according to which refugees ought to be returned to the country of first entry. That decision, by implication, also dealt a savage blow to the Schengen Agreement on free movement within the union. A year later, Europe is reeling from the consequences of that announcement.

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