Europe’s refugee crisis is surging.
This year, more than 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Europe – and more than 2,600 have died doing so.
Hundreds of thousands of people are making the risky trek to various European Union nations this summer to flee persecution, war, and terrorism in their native countries in the Middle East and Africa.
A recent photograph of a drowned toddler facedown on a Turkish beach sparked outrage earlier this week and prompted a shift in how the EU approaches refugees amid what has been described as the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Germany is the most proactive of the 28 EU member nations.
Comparatively, Germany plans to accept an estimated 800,000 refugees this year, while the UK has admitted 216 refugees. On Friday, however, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK would now accept thousands of Syrian refugees.
The graphic below shows the EU nations accepting the most refugees:
Though the EU has a policy of accepting refugees, it has no set guidelines as to how to distribute them among the 28 member states, which has caused tensions between the countries.
Per European law, asylum seekers have to be registered and stay in the country they first arrive in, but the extreme situation has led Germany to forgo this rule and is register and accept asylum applications from refugees even if Germany was not the first European country they entered.
A new poll in Sweden shows that the public thinks immigration is the most important issue facing the country. It did not specify whether it was viewed positively or negatively.
Italy has been facing the crisis for longer than most other European countries, as the country is widely used as an entry port to Europe. Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, has for months now called on the rest of Europe to take on its share of refugees and not let his country and Greece face this crisis alone.
The high number of refugees has also caused a surge in right-wing populist movements throughout Europe.
- Thomson Reuters
Hungary has started building a wall on its border with Serbia in a bid to keep asylum seekers from entering the EU altogether.
The crisis has also prompted many locals to show support for refugees. In Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, and Belgium, locals with enough room and resources have started taking refugees into their homes.