31

An important factor here is the treaties a country has signed up to. In this case, a relevant one is the 1951 Refugee Convention. From UNHCR: The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key legal document that forms the basis of our work. Ratified​ by 145 State parties, it defines the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of the displaced, as well as the legal ...


25

The key convention is the 1951 refugee convention. The key points to this instrument is that refugees should not be returned to a country where they are under threat. Technically a person only becomes a refugee when they cross a border. "Under threat" means "having a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, ...


24

First let's take a look at the definition of the word Realpolitik: Politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives Under that definition there are two possible reasons: Avoiding a situation where European soldiers/border guards shoot unarmed men, women and children Helping prevent further destabilization ...


22

Really the compulsion is a moral and practical one, rather than something enforced by international law: refugees tend to arrive in large numbers, turning them away is both difficult and tends to get them killed. It may be difficult to deport people to a war zone, e.g. if there are no functioning airports. The shadow of the Holocaust hangs over 20th-century ...


17

The primary reason why countries take refugees in the first place are humanitarian concerns. The EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights Articles 18 and 19 say: Article 18 The right to asylum shall be guaranteed with due respect for the rules of the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 and the Protocol of 31 January 1967 relating to the status of ...


15

”Free movement” in the EU primarily applies inside the EU, i.e. it regulates relationships between EU countries. Regarding the free movement of people, it means that it applies to EU citizens themselves (and only incidentally to their family or to long-term residents). There are EU rules pertaining to third-country nationals but they have always been much ...


13

No, there are no limits, simple as that. Countries typically don't want more refugees than they absolutely have to accept (and, in spite of what you might have heard, that very much include Germany) but there is nothing preventing them from providing protection to anybody who meets the definition if they want to. Case in point: You might have heard of the ...


11

Hopefully the analysis I have found is current. Quite possibly, they will be or will have already implemented new measures for dealing with integration. German integration following a 2005 law uses a "two track approach". First, immigrants are offered integration courses. These courses include "600 hours of instruction in German as a foreign language, and a ...


11

TL;DR: Europe is a) merely being pragmatic about the situation and b) acting in its long-term self-interest. First off, keep the numbers in perspective. However massive the recent influx of migrants looked to European eyes, the scale of the problem is even larger. Arab countries are dealing with an order of magnitude more migrants than Europe. Next, ...


11

The right to asylum is an inherently moral issue, and removing that aspect of it is nonsensical. But as that is your question: Ignoring the countless moral arguments, there are a couple of realpolitik benefits that are sometimes named. Direct benefits to the country taking refugees: Increased economic growth (German source): Refugees do not save up any ...


10

There are many refugees stuck in camps inside their own country or somewhere close but if you can escape that fate, developing countries have never been very attractive. Going there really only makes sense from the perspective of the developed countries who would like to get rid of the problem (“If you are really fearing for your life, why isn't Turkey good ...


9

Starting in March 2011 there was a major civil war in Syria, many people were displaced by the fighting and tried to escape, to Turkey and to Europe. There were a great number of refugees, many living in miserable conditions. Many countries across Europe offered to accept refugees, as part of their humanitarian duty. Refugees often go on to make a positive ...


9

A refugee is someone fleeing a war-torn country. A migrant is someone seeking to move to a country for economic (or familial, etc) reasons. The EU accepts refugees for compassionate reasons. If the refugee were to be sent back to their country of origin, they are likely to be killed. There often isn't time to take a language course if bombs are falling on ...


8

There was the case of Horst Mahler, a former far left activist and lawyer (and member of the terrorist group Red Army Faction) and now far right intellectual. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for holocaust denial and fled to Hungary, seeking asylum for political persecution. It was denied (sources in German). As @chirlu pointed out in the comments, ...


7

How does this work? By instructing immigration officers, border-guards, military, police or other government branches to prevent refugees from crossing the border. Of course there are international treaties which would theoretically outlaw this practice, but international treaties are only effective when other states are willing to enforce them. When they ...


7

For Germany, article 16a of the constitution in general guarantees asylum to those victim of political persecution. Furthermore, Germany (and Sweden) is a party of the Geneva refugee conventions of 1951 and 1967. Finally, they are both EU members and thus subject to directive 2011/95/EU which handles subsidiary protection for people who do not qualify for ...


7

Within the Schengen area there are supposed to be no identity checks when you travel across borders. Hence once someone is physically within the area there is nothing to stop them travelling to any other part of it (with the possible exception of travel across the sea, where you might need to show ID to get on a ferry or airplane). There might be a legal ...


7

Given that around half of UK immigration is from the EU, that the EU contains only around 7% of the world’s population, and that net EU migration increased markedly in the 2000s as the bloc was enlarged, approaching ten times the rate for the preceding ten years, I would say yes, EU policy has had “a significant impact on [the] total number of immigrants in ...


6

There are several factors at work. Much of Europe has a low birth rate and an aging population. It needs more young people when the currently working generation heads to retirement homes. This calls for a "selfish" immigration policy, letting in engineers, nurses, etc. After WWII, a ruined Germany took in some 12 million refugees from the East, mostly ...


6

There are two answers to the question: Paper, and reality. On paper, Bill has given a good introduction. There are considerable efforts on integration courses, finding working opportunities, moving refugee children into regular schools as soon as they speak the language, etc. However, in reality the most likely answer is: There will be no integration. Not ...


6

I don't think the Palestinians have a special status in the general sense. People born in refugee camps are usually counted as refugees. The Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda was established in 1958 for Rwandan refugees and the people living there are still tended to by the UNHCR. The Geneva Conventions definition of refugee: A. For the purposes of the ...


5

According to the United States State Department, a refugee is defined as: someone who has fled from his or her home country and cannot return because he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group first step for most refugees is to register with the ...


5

For a detailed discussion of the political dimensions, here is a good article to start with. For now I'm just going to point out the most basic practical problems with the proposal. In a recent interview for Australian television, Europol director and former British intelligence analyst Rob Wainright responded to this exact question as follows: Well, it'...


5

Your understanding of it doesn't seem to be entirely correct. It was a general statement (and as far as they go, a poorly worded one) in response to a proposal by the Greens to increase refugee intake from 13,750 to 50,000 per year (as far as I can tell, effective immediately); and the part about refugees taking jobs and refugees being unemployable are two ...


5

What you describe: 100000 Russians coming ashore is called "an invasion". Article 51 of the UN charter: Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations. EU law doesn't deal with matters of invasions, this is a matter for the Security ...


5

The EU Directorate Eurostat collates and analyses statistics across the EU-28, including statistics on decisions on asylum applications. Unfortunately they don't seem to have processed results precisely in line with your question, but they have produced a series of quarterly reports which include statistics on the outcome of first applications, broken down ...


5

This can be complicated. Some countries recognize other countries as decent, safe nations. Some countries on this planet only border safe countries and may have established "safe third country" treaties with them where neither country will recognize refugee claims by anyone who travels through the other country and arrives at the border. (The idea being that ...


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