Crossing Borders: How the Migration Crisis Transformed Europe’s External Policy
Between 2014 and 2017, Europe saw its largest influx of migrants in decades, with 1.9 million arrivals to the continent (and thousands of lives lost at sea during the dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea) and 3.6 million first-time asylum applicants across the 28 EU member states. The European Union and its member states have struggled to absorb this large influx of migrants and refugees and to manage the European Union’s external borders. As migration management has remained principally a national mandate, a delicate balance had to be found between the European Union and its member states to process asylum seekers, manage borders, and address the drivers of migration and instability in Europe’s neighborhood through policy and funding. This led to what is now called the “European migration crisis” of 2015 and 2016.
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