It is not original to point out that the 2015 European refugee ‘crisis’ was not caused by numbers – Turkey hosted ten times as many Syrians per inhabitant as the EU, and Lebanon even 100 times more, while in addition Europe is much wealthier than these countries. It is also not original to point out that, instead of addressing the deficiencies of European asylum law, the EU has intensified its externalization policies, as evidenced by the March 2016 EU-Turkey deal and the EU Trust Fund for Africa. Thus, the dominant idea seems to be that in order to save free movement of persons in the Schengen zone, entry into Europe has been made ever more difficult. Although we do not want to quarrel with this (we can see perfectly well what this analysis is about), we do think it needs to be nuanced significantly.
The full text of this blogpost is on the RLI Blog.