[Europe] The Balkans: Stuck Between Migrations

04 Oct 2019
Political Critique

In recent years migration and the status of refugees have become a priority issue in European policies. However, in many cases, the countries’ attitude to asylum seekers is more than disappointing. Many European countries struggle with growing xenophobia. The number of regulations violating migrants’ rights – more broadly speaking – their human rights, have been increasing in the last couple of years. For instance, in Croatia thousands of migrants have been deported from the country to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Similar measures that are based on exclusion, separation, and criminalization can be perceived in other European countries as well. Sara Kekuš, a Croatian expert in peace studies, states that “the novelty in the European Commission, that is, the portfolio directed towards the ‘protection of the European way of life’ proves that the EU does not care about human rights, but rather about the lifestyle and pleasure of ‘real’ Europeans”. From this point of view, the following data can be considered as a success in Croatia; the number of immigrants decreased from one million in 2015 to 140.000 in 2018. However, considering human rights, solidarity, and tolerance, it is rather a failure. 

There are no systemic solutions in the EU, they simply stopped people to reach Western Europe. Long-term solutions could be to allow the temporary protection of a larger number of people, to introduce humanitarian visas, and providing other forms of protection or more permanent residences for migrants, explains Drago Župarić Iljić — an expert in migrations and an assistant professor at the Department of Sociology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb.

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