Interagency RAN, Europe, Migrants

Responding to the Migrant Crisis: Europe at a Juncture

Our latest research analyses the key drivers of the European migrant crisis and outlines how it may evolve between now and 2018.

By Action Against Hunger

Jul 12 2016

Europe's Road Ahead

The global movement of people we are seeing today is unprecedented. The number of people forcibly displaced went up by 50 per cent in between 2011 and 2015 - a big change from the relative stabilityle figures of the previous decade where the population fluctuated by around 40 million people. 

Today developing countries host 86 per cent of all displaced people fleeing chronic and violent insecurity, poor governance, limited economic growth, political repression, or lack of basic service provision. These countries, often neighbouring conflict zones, bear the brunt of the mass displacements of people we are seeing today.

Despite this global perspective, the public’s attention has turned to Europe which is experiencing the largest influx of refugees since the Second World War. Over the course of the last few years, there has been considerable debate on how best to deal with migrants versus refugees, and the impact of migration on host communities (in relation to the labour force, crime rates, wealth distribution, and political alignment). 

Amidst all of this uncertainty, one thing is for sure: the migration crisis is here to stay. 

Syrian refugees in Greece have numbers noted on their hands upon arrival. Photo: D. Burgui for Action Against Hunger

Europe will remain a destination for migrants and refugees in the years to come. In addition, the push factors which make refugees leave their countries of origin – whether it is long-term conflict, drought or poverty - are not likely to disappear. The nature of migration will require that Europe, as an entire continent rather than an economic or regional block, responds to the crisis in a coordinated, collaborative and strategic manner. 

Furthermore, European countries wishing to respond effectively will need to implement long-term or ‘durable solutions’ to the crisis, which address the root causes of migration, and the reasons for which refugees are making the perilous choice to cross the Mediterranean. 

Today, the EU is at a critical point in its management of migration. It can either lead by example or waver, and bear the negative consequences for Europe and displaced populations worldwide for the years to come. 

This blog is based on an Interagency RAN report, Responding to the Migrant Crisis: Europe at a Juncture, which includes prospective analyses which outline how the crisis might evolve between now and June 2018. 


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Photos: D. Burgui for Action Against Hunger