European countries, especially those in the European Union, have always been attractive for immigrants. The main principle of the EU is to eliminate any borders to make trade and cooperation much easier.
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Even within the EU, some countries are highly developed, while others need investments for further economic growth and prosperity. For instance, Norway, Switzerland, France, Germany, Sweden possess high living standards, social facilities, and plenty of opportunities. Meanwhile, Baltic countries have experienced high levels of emigration – almost one third of its residents, mainly younger generations, moved to the UK, Germany, or France in search of a better life. The countries in the south – Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, have come to the crisis already.
The opportunities to immigrate to the EU seem also very attractive for many residents from the outside, particularly from Africa and Turkey. The European Union has been constantly providing aid for African countries and Turkey in hope to decrease the number of asylum-seekers, expats, and other immigrants.
The EU-Africa trust fund pays for the voluntary return of migrants stranded in the North Africa, border security, skills, and education projects. Under the March 2016 agreement, “the EU reaffirmed its commitment to release €3 billion to improve the situation of Syrians in Turkey, with the potential for another €3 billion by the end of 2018” (Dimitriadi). In practice, such investment does not drive the desired outcomes.
Those who like traveling and already explored some European countries are already acquainted with the situation in southern countries. Many people from Africa sail to Greece or Italy for seeking asylum, some of them have an objective to move to the countries with the highest standards, including Germany and Sweden.
Africans coming to Greece, usually stop in the Athens first, some stay there forever. Visiting the capital of Greece, known by its rich ancient history, can become the real nightmare – dozens of drug addicted and homeless people simply live in the streets because they once lost their chance to get social help and find a better life in Europe. Visiting Italy is not the same shocking, however, multiple African migrants surf in the streets and their number is not likely to decrease.
In fact, the EU needs a long-term strategy to reduce the incentives to migrate, which includes a set of implementations that would enhance the economic opportunities and security in sub-Saharan African countries. When there are no differences in social and economic situation between the regions, the migration is likely to decrease or even stop.
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Still any of the strategies did not work as expected so European Commission representatives and other responsible for the refugee crisis confrontation authorities gather more and more often in Brussels to address the issues of constant flow of African migrants and Syrian asylum-seekers coming from Turkey.
Practically, the number of immigrants is not decreasing, but there is a flip side of immigration. Looking at immigration as the opportunity can provide many chances for both EU, Africa and Turkey. Migration flows between Africa and Europe, Turkey and Europe, will almost certainly increase, but advantages could be taken out of this situation (Masoon and Gough). While many European nations are associated with aging population, young and energetic migrants from other countries might contribute towards the economic growth.
Currently, the immigration into Europe from Africa and Turkey is not decreasing, while the tendency evidences the contrary. Certain measures are being constantly applied to reduce the immigration flow, however, it will not stop. If the situation cannot be changed, the view on it could be definitely altered – as many European nations are aging, the inflow of young and energetic immigrants would be beneficial for the economy.
Dimitriadi, Angeliki. “Deals without Borders: Europe’s Foreign Policy on Migration.” European Council of Foreign Relations. Web.
Masoon, Ahmed, and Kate Gough. “African Migration to Europe Is Not a Crisis. It’s an Opportunity.” Center of Global Development. Web.