Europe's Migration Crisis as a Path toward Deeper Integration?

January 14, 2016 1:15 PM

 

Nothing like a humanitarian crisis to put a financial one into perspective.

A year after the euro area appeared to put at least a temporary respite to chatter that the currency union might fall apart, the continent was faced with a massive influx of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers in 2015, many desperately fleeing war zones in Syria and Iraq.

Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Institute, views the migration conundrum in much the same light as he perceived the euro's debacle—it is exactly such high pressure moments that create the political will for greater integration. The figures are certainly staggering.

"Almost 1.1 million asylum seekers arrived in the EU-28 from January to November of [2015]. More than 400,000 were from war-torn Syria and Iraq alone," Kirkegaard wrote in a recent blog post.

Kirkegaard has devised a detailed plan for a migration and mobility union, illustrated in this handy infographic crafted by Daniel Housch of our web and multimedia team.

Kirkegaard's plan, which includes a mix of European and individual-country funding and coordination, offers a positive antidote to the recent bout of anti-immigrant hostility in Germany and elsewhere following a string of apparently coordinated physical and sexual attacks throughout the country.

Watch a video interview with Kirkegaard for further details of his proposed plan.