Fortress Europe and Western Balkan as its soft underbelly

A new EFB Paper, by Sanel Huskic


The European Union is facing a very challenging problem as a result of an increased number of illegal migrants at its borders. This pressure is distributed unevenly among the Member States. Today only five countries receive 70% of asylum seekers. The countries reached an impasse when those that are most affected asked for assistance through redistribution of migrants through a ‘mandatory quota system’ and were left to fend on their own. Further on, pressure on EU borders is increasing daily while EU policy makers are running in circles. As a consequence, individual Member States are resorting to their own ad hoc policies and threatening with brusk and unorthodox measures. They range from mild, such as issuing travel documents for illegal migrants for entrance into the EU (Italy), to drastic, such as the walling of their borders (Hungary).
This latest migration movement towards the EU is using the Western Balkan States as one of the transit routes. The nature of this migration is that people are fleeing the war torn areas of North Africa and the Middle East, and they will not be stopped. If the EU allows the placing of walls in the path of this river made of people at the EU border, water will swell and flood the whole Western Balkans.
The EU is inherently slow with its decision-making processes. This is especially true with respect to migration questions in previous decades. However, this will have to be addressed immediately in order to avoid a greater disaster that is inevitable with the current conduct of individual Member States. The EU Member States, the Western Balkan States and the illegal immigrants need a silver-bullet policy that will solve this problem instantly. The very first step would be to treat all illegal migrants as legal migrants and/or redistribute current migrants evenly among all 28 States.


Read the full paper here.


Note: The paper is published here upon receiving consent of the author.