The European migrant crisis has gripped the attention of many national and international bodies. This migrant integration crisis is also commonly known as the refugee crisis. This period of crisis officially began in 2015 when a large and strong pattern of immigration to Europe had come to light. It was observed that a number of people were arriving in the European Union (EU) through the Mediterranean Sea or through Southeast Europe. There are many experts who believe that this pattern must have first started sometime during the mid-20th century. And this has also encountered a lot of resistance in many European countries. Many surveys and studies have been done for looking at the main reasons why individuals tend to immigrate and the two most popular reasons are asylum-seeking and economic benefits.
According to the European Commission, the term immigrant can be used to describe as an individual who is originally not from an EU country but establishes his or her residence within any particular territory of the EU country for a minimum period of twelve months. According to some of the reports, a large number of immigrants come from Muslim-majority countries primarily present in the east and south of Europe. This includes nations such as Africa and the Great Middle East. Besides the two main reasons which were mentioned above as the causes of immigration, there are many other reasons which have seemed to accelerate the European migration integration crisis. And some of those reasons are violence, global warming, poverty, and drought. To make matters disturbing, there have been a few rare cases in which ISIL militants actually come disguised as immigrants to Europe. There have also been many official reports which claim that the number of immigrants who cross the European border illegally has reduced from a total of 1.8 million in 2015 to 204,219 in 2017.
The Reasons why Europe Tends to Struggle with Migrant Integration
There are many experts who claim that the current struggle which Europe is facing in terms of migrant integration has nothing to do with the topics of race or religion. Instead, it runs deeper and has to do with the willingness of Europe to preserve and expand its liberal values. It is vital to remember amongst all of this that a large chunk of immigrants come from countries which have been pulled apart due to war. Currently, it can easily be seen that migration is at the center of politics of this country. There are many reasons why this continent is struggling with the migrant integration crisis. And some of those reasons are:
1. The Boost in the Labor Force
There are two sides to every coin. Hence, there are individuals who support mass migration while there are others who are against mass immigration. The supporters are holding the view that this would give the required boost to the labor force. For example, in Germany, there is a strong demand for workers who are trained in the department of science. And this labor gap can be fulfilled with the help of the immigrants. There are also individuals who believe that those jobs are theirs and they should not have to give it up for other immigrants who have not even worked for their country. There is also the problem of allotting specific funds and ensuring that the immigrants are properly trained before they can start entering the required labor force.
2. The Solution for Aging Europe
Another major debate which seems to always come to the center is that Europe is an aging nation. A large number of individuals in the European population are senior citizens who tend to put pressure on the resources of the government. Hence, it is important to strike a balance between the working force of the continent and the number of individuals who have retired. Higher birth rates and an increase in the labor force can certainly help towards that cause. But this is easier said than done because to house such growing numbers the government would be required to make some major changes. These major changes will not come about easily and there would always be major hurdles along the way. This won’t just create problems for the immigrants but will also result in many issues for the people who have been living and working in the continent of Europe legally for years. According to the estimates of some experts, one can expect to deal with almost 500,000 immigrants every single year for many years to come. This obviously shows how difficult that task can really be both in terms of physical resources and social acceptance.
3. The Major Pressure on the Economies
According to experts who have been carefully evaluating and looking at all sides of the European migrant integration crisis, it can definitely be beneficial to increase the workforce by including more immigrants to it. However, a large chunk of those immigrants is from Africa and the Middle East. The majority of these immigrants are not educated which basically translated means that those immigrants can be a troublesome burden on the finances of the states which are already quite pressed as it is. This is a fact that has been quite evidently seen in countries like Italy and Greece which have gone under a long period of recession and have only now somewhat recovered from that period of no growth. Apart from this, one can also expect countries to face burden in terms of providing healthcare services and other basic services to the larger portion of the general public. The working population would also be required to pay higher tax receipts in such a scenario. Many countries are dealing with that issue by closing off its borders to send across the message that the country does not want too many immigrants.
4. The Anti-Immigration Sentiments
In recent years, a rise in anti-immigration sentiments has been observed in Europe. This crisis has resulted in the division of views between the people living in Europe. Many have also changed their minds after looking at the images of what immigrants have to go through in their own countries or while on the way to Europe. This is not to say that some citizens still don’t oppose mass immigration strongly.
Europe is a beautiful country which has both a rich history and cultures. This country has also been facing a struggle with regards to migrant integration. This has been regarded widely as the European migrant integration crisis. The primary reasons for immigration are asylum-seeking and looking for better economic benefits. There are a number of reasons why Europe is struggling with migrant integration crisis. And some of those reasons are the pressure on economies, the aging population, and the anti-immigration sentiments.