Europe is experiencing the mass movements of displaced people in a way that it has largely been immune from for decades.
Europe is experiencing the mass movements of displaced people in a way that it has largely been immune from for decades. The ramifications and manifestations of what is being called a ‘crisis’ are extensive, intersecting with national as well as pan-European politics, existing economic problems, xenophobia, fear of terror attacks, and much more. This crisis, in effect, seems to dwarf in scale and complexity any other crisis that Europe has faced since the end of the Second World War.
The manifestations are as disparate as the building of fences to stop people crossing normally peaceful borders, the deaths of people transported by smugglers in unseaworthy boats, EU political leaders bickering over a Common European Asylum System and the numbers they will or will not allow into their respective countries, and contentious responses to the disaster that continues to unfold in Syria. Alongside this we also see an upsurge of grass-roots compassion, solidarity and assistance to the displaced and others whose human suffering on a grand scale in and around Europe constitutes the reality behind the ‘crisis’.
In this issue of FMR, authors throw legal, practical, moral and experiential light on a variety of the multifarious issues and manifestations that make up this ‘migration crisis’.
We would like to thank Liz Collett of the Migration Policy Institute Europe, Madeline Garlick of UNHCR, Cathryn Costello of the Refugee Studies Centre, and Richard Williams for their assistance as advisors on the feature theme of this issue. We are also grateful to the International Organization for Migration, the Open Society Foundations and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs for their financial support of the issue.
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Marion Couldrey, Maurice Herson