EU Struggles To Handle Growing Refugee Crisis

A child weeps as surging crowds of Syrian immigrants attempt to board a train at the Kaleti Train Station in Budapest, Hungary
A child weeps as surging crowds of Syrian immigrants attempt to board a train at the Kaleti Train Station in Budapest, Hungary
A child weeps as surging crowds of Syrian immigrants attempt to board a train at the Kaleti Train Station in Budapest, Hungary

Hundreds of Syrian refugees fleeing civil war back in Syria packed into parked trains yesterday at the Kaleti Train Station in Budapest, Hungary, clinging to the hope that the train would transport them to countries in northern Europe to start a new life in the European Union.

Two trains were finally cleared to leave Budapest but were stopped at the Hungary town of Bickske, site of large Syrian refugee camp, frustrating the asylum seekers who were expecting to be transported to wealthier European countries further north that are safe havens and offer generous social welfare programs.

The Kaleti Train Station in Budapest has become a flash point for thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing war back at home, attempting to journey through Hungary on their way north to new destinations in Germany and Austria.

Nearly all of the refugees entering Hungary have to first pass through Serbia during the safer land route out of the Middle East compared to traveling by boat to Greece before heading to northern Europe.

Hungary is ill-equipped to protect the country from the massive flows of refugees swelling through its porous border.

Hungary intends to build a more permanent border wall, but its current barbed wire fence is proving to be worthless against the massive surge of Syrian refugees.

Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have recently called for a quota system to distribute the surging number of refugees entering the European Union, Germany is opening its doors the widest to global refugees and expects to receive 800,000 new refugees this year alone from countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Syria amid a growing refugee crisis that is spilling over across Europe, resulting in the largest influx of new immigrants to Europe since World War II which comes at a time when birthrates among native Europeans across Europe are plummeting.

The cost of supporting 800,000 new refugees is expected to run into the billions.

The Financial Times calls the human flow into the European Union “one of the most serious challenges facing the bloc.”

In July over 100,000 immigrants reached the borders of the EU, triple the number from July 2014, according to Frontex.

Interior Ministers  in the European Union will soon hold an emergency meeting on September 14 to address Europe’s growing refugee crisis which is a thorny topic within the EU bloc and has led to the rise of some far right movements that are resistant to seeing Syrian refugees immigrating into the EU while utilizing their social welfare programs.

Countries such as Hungary, Poland, and the U.K. are reluctant to absorb thousands of new Syrian refugees and follow Germany’s open door model that has resulted in criticism from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who criticized Germany’s leadership for encouraging refugees to enter German by way of Hungary and said that the immigration crisis is “Germany’s problem” since Germany is the destination where those arriving in the EU would like to go.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

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