Fortress Europe

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Understanding the June 2018 EU migration deal

Following two days of fraught negotiations, EU leaders reached a key agreement on migration on June 29 that aims to alleviate rising tensions over the handling of the arrival of migrants on European shores. The electoral victories of right-wing, populist candidates—some, on an openly hostile anti-immigration agenda—have catapulted this issue to the forefront of debates about an EU-wide response to the crisis, and about its very future as a political and economic union.

Though leaders have expressed cautious optimism, the agreement has been criticized for the vagueness and insufficiency of its commitments. In addition, for many it signals the downward trend in terms of upholding the rights of migrants and responsibilities of states under international refugee law.

According to figures from the UN Refugee Agency, the world is in the midst of the worst refugee crisis in history. There are now more than 68 million forcibly displaced persons, a number even higher than after the end of the Second World War. Of these, most are internally dis-placed and, in the past five years, fewer than two million have made it to the EU.

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Published July 31, 2018

 

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