Comparative Analysis of Refugees Coming from the Balkan and the Middle East from a Legal, Еconomic and Мoral Viewpoint

Illegal migrants walk near  the railway crossing at the border between Hungary and Serbia near Roszke, 180 km southeast from Budapest, Hungary, Tuesday Aug. 25, 2015.  (Sandor Ujvari/MTI via AP)

The sole fact that thousands of refugees are being accepted to the EU without any border check in 2014 and 2015 caused the initial frustration of citizens in Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo*. All these countries need endless paperwork in order to acquire a work permit in EU. On the top of this Kosovo* inhabitants can not even travel to EU without Visa. This led to the exodus of thousands of Kosovo Albanians to the EU on a well-known route. The famous Balkan route as it is called commonly has its roots back into the early 90’s when the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia (SFRJ) has started. War activities became an everyday activity in many regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and later Kosovo and Metohija in Serbia. Still, the borders of countries outside of ex-Yugoslavia were not widely opened for refugees.

On the European level, the importance of regulating this was seen and a solution is given in the 1990 Dublin Convention, later Regulation. Before this, the main idea of refugees, in some situations dissidents, was seen in the fact that many skilled workers and craftsmen emigrated from the East (Communist) Europe to the West (Capitalist) Europe. Some of them being Political refugees (dissidents) but the main criteria for their status were mainly determined by a political or economic value they had. The value of such refugees was their knowledge, skills, and competence which could be used for economic development and in some cases the bare prestige of having intellectuals fled from the communist oppression.

Serbian Hungarian green border line Entering Hungary illegally, without VisaIn the 1990 Dublin Convention, the signing parties recognized the need to regulate asylum seeking. They introduced the rule of the first country of application, where the asylum seeker has applied for asylum. That means that this first country of application will exclusively deal with the asylum seekers case and either accept or reject it, after what other Dublin countries will not give a chance for another try. Now, this system lived successfully for many years until Hungary did not become flooded with illegal migrants in the summer of 2015. Even after the failure of the Dublin regulation, it became evident that it is not useful for the present problem and a solution has to be sought. The Hungarian solution was the infamous border lock or in Hungarian “határzár” whereas the EU invented, or reinvented the solution from the colonial era, the EU’s “real” solution/problem had been introduced than in the form of a quota system.

The fact is that Syrian citizens have a right to claim asylum in EU, but also in many countries prior to their arrival to EU as well. Also, they never intended to claim it in e.g. Hungary but they are forced to since it became obvious that people cross the border and travel without any check to different EU countries to the west. Hungary was at some point blamed for its “law” enforcement using different tools and a border fence towards Serbia on the end.

We have many other questions, in particular, related to the fact that refugees have to travel in very inhuman conditions. If there is a country where they want to go and that country can accept them, why don’t other countries help them to reach it easier? Why are they becoming an easy prey for people smugglers and cross-border crossings illegally? On the end, we will try to answer the ultimate question, why Germany? Or in other words why they are welcome to the west of EU and not so much welcome on the east of EU, when we say east we don’t mean Hungary solely.

As it is by now well known, Kosovo became an administrative chaos where actually there is no one to blame than everyone. By having a mandate UNMIK (UN administration) transferred its responsibility to EULEX (EU administration), certainly, UN has more experience and capacity than the EU itself. UN has dealt with such cases earlier but EU is having its debut in Kosovo as something that is hard to define, we can say protector, supporter or some kind of big brother. Maybe it would make some sense if EU would implement some ad hoc law to directly include Kosovo into the EU but its not the case and Kosovo is far from being even a candidate, so whom to blame? The Kosovo government and its leaders have an indefinite capacity to be evoked into some kind of court and tribunal and thus finishing their work as builders of “democracy” instantly.  “Kosovo, therefore, provides an important illustration of the responsibility for proper administration that international actors have adopted in the practice of international territorial administration”[1] There was not much done in the area of economic development since an economically undeveloped society can not catch up with EU trends just by receiving some short or long term funds. Big companies from Yugoslav era in Kosovo like Trepcha never started working again even thought having a potential and infrastructure to employ people. After all this happening for some 15 years there was no other choice for Kosovars than to buy a ticket to their old capital city Belgrade and try via it to reach Hungary. The phenomena of this exodus is not a surprise but maybe the reaction coming from the EU is, the most important outcome was the decision of the Hungarian government to make the border lock shortly after. Capture 432

The everyday flood of people to the EU and in particular Germany has made the German government to rethink its policies. It was obvious that if some Kosovars stay, more will follow and then the majority of their asylum claims had been refused. “The “URA” reintegration project is continuing to become increasingly important in 2016 as a central contact for people from Kosovo returning to their region of origin from Germany.”[2] The fact that Germany needs workers in fact still stands but there is little hope that they will get them from asylum seekers since anyway EU citizens would have a priority. “At present, however, non-EU citizens have little chance of getting medium-skilled jobs in Germany.”[3] On contrary highly skilled workers and professionals are needed and swallowed into every EU state economy, obviously, there is a huge demand. “In some industries, jobs, and regions in Germany, there is a shortage of qualified professionals. More especially, qualified technical workers, such as engineers and IT specialists, as well as health specialists, are in short supply.”[4] Then an obvious unbalanced situation happens which is called brain drain, educated people leave first and do not wait or suffer for long at home. So obviously the less educated wait more to leave and they are the ones going to be refused, on the end.

You can find the whole article here.

Written by: Attila Nagy, LLM (Law Lecturer and Researcher)

Post a comment