Are refugees the real threat to European identity?
Research Paper by Serena Brugnola
Due to the so-called ‘migrant crisis’, the EU is facing an unprecedented challenge in both political and humanitarian terms. The blurring of the lines between ‘immigrant’ and ‘refugee’, however, has frustrated fair and honest discussion, allowing nationalist, populist sentiment to grow, and far-right, xenophobic forces to gain ground. The arrival of so many desperate people, often of Islamic faith, is associated to the danger of terrorism and perceived as a threat to Europe’s security and social values. Instead of favouring the implementation of a proper system of immigration and asylum policy at European level, the crisis has led many Member States to reinstall internal border controls and closing national frontiers, threatening freedom of movement within the EU. The present paper aims at analysing the situation and its future development, suggesting that migration is not a new phenomenon, and that the real challenge is the ability to hold onto the principles of peace, democracy, rule of law and solidarity that Europe was built upon.