01:13 GMT02 December 2020
Listen Live
    Europe
    Get short URL
    0 25
    Subscribe

    News that a Sudanese man died while trying to enter the British-bound Eurotunnel terminal at Calais overnight has once again led to outrage and shock. However instead of being a one-off, the tragedy has highlighted Europe's failings when dealing with the ongoing migrant crisis.

    In the wake of the man's death, who was killed after being hit by a truck that was leaving an English Channel ferry, UK officials have called an emergency meeting to try and address the situation at Calais, after 1,500 asylum seekers attempted to make their way to Britain by bombarding the Eurotunnel terminal.

    British officials, along with French authorities, have been criticized for their perceived inability to handle the wave of immigrants determined to find a way across the English Channel.

    A Wider European Problem

    However, a detailed look at the broader issue of migration across Europe shows that it's not just the failings of the British or French authorities that have led to such a crisis, with similar humanitarian problems in many of parts of the EU.

    While the estimated 3,000 migrants living in makeshift camps near the French port city of Calais consistently generates international headlines, there are several other similar situations across Europe, where asylum seekers are putting their lives at risk in search of a better life.

    In April, 900 asylum seekers, en route from Libya to Italy, died after the boat they were traveling in capsized in the Mediterranean.

    This tragic news shocked many people around the world and triggered the EU into action, with leaders meeting for crisis talks on how they could prevent the number of people taking the dangerous journey to Europe by sea.

    However, the problems are not isolated to Italy, with many asylum seekers from war-torn Middle Eastern countries like Syria and Iraq arriving in Greece.

    Europe's Migration Policies 'Failing'

    A recent report by Amnesty International found that due to a combination of poor planning and an ineffective use of EU funds, combined with Greece's economic crisis, many asylum seekers arriving in the Greek islands were confronted with less than satisfactory conditions on arrival.

    Despite the failings of the Greek authorities, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International's director for Europe and Central Asia said that ultimately the migrant crisis is a product of the EU's approach to migration.

    "The humanitarian crisis in the Aegean is not merely a Greek tragedy but the product of a failing European migration system."

    He said that it was up to EU leaders "to acknowledge that the intolerable strains on frontline states such as Greece and Italy are the product of Europe's failed migration policies.

    "Effective solutions to meet the global refugee crisis and share the responsibility more equitably across the EU must be urgently applied."

    Critics argue that the EU's policy of placing the main responsibility for processing asylum seeker applications on the first EU country of entry, along with the limiting of safe and legal methods of entry to Europe, has put an unsustainable strain on some of the EU's outlying countries such as Italy and Greece.

    The lack of legal avenues of settling in Europe has also been considered to be a major reason why many asylum seekers are willing to risk their lives to enter the EU, either by land or sea.

    Concerns Over Human Trafficking 

    Due to the overwhelming demand for people from war-torn countries to try and seek asylum in Europe, there has been a proliferation in organized gangs and human traffickers profiting from the illegal transportation of people into the continent.

    In France there have been reports of unemployed locals being approach by crime gangs to take part in people smuggling activities across the English Channel, while in eastern Europe concerns are being raised about people being abused by crime gangs, who promise desperate asylum seekers a passage into the EU.

    It has led to many people becoming stranded in what's been described as the "overflow sink" of Balkan countries like Serbia and Macedonia, as many asylum seekers aren't able to legally enter EU countries.

    While the immigration policies of these Balkan countries have also been criticized, campaigners point out that the reason for Europe's migrant crisis is ultimately down to the failings of the EU to come up with a sustainable approach to immigration.

    Related:

    UK Calls Emergency Meeting as Calais Migrant Crisis Deepens
    European Council Urges to Address Root Causes of Migration
    Bloated EU Stretched to the Max as Med Migrant Problem Pushes Boundaries
    Tags:
    migration, asylum seekers, refugees, conflict zone, war, human trafficking, sea, humanitarian crisis, illegal migrants, migrant crisis, Amnesty International, European Union, Italy, Greece, Mediterranean Sea, Calais, Europe
    Community standardsDiscussion