Migrant and Refugee Crisis in Europe: Challenges, Experiences and Lessons Learnt in the Balkans

Rajkovcevski, Rade (2017) Migrant and Refugee Crisis in Europe: Challenges, Experiences and Lessons Learnt in the Balkans. In: International Conference Risks, Security and Citizenship. Municipality of Setubal, Setubal, Portugal, pp. 178-188. ISBN 978-972-9016-53-0

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The recent events in Europe, mostly related to the migrant and refugee crisis, seriously affected European
security and stability. Coming from different crisis regions in Asia and Africa, migrants are commonly
dedicated to a shared objective - to arrive at the desired destinations in the most developed EU countries.
The Balkan countries, representing the South Eastern port of Europe, largely faced this phenomenon
accompanied with the activities of illicit groups. The Balkans, dominantly used for transit, became very
vulnerable to the consequences of the refugee crisis without the ability to influence its causes. The risk
assessment, approaches and actions taken by national governments still directly depend on EU migration
and security policies and current political situation in Turkey.
In the first quarter of 2016, just before signing the EU-Turkey Agreement, the situation culminated when
almost 1 million migrants were registered on the entry points on the Macedonian-Greek border (Pavlovski
and Popovska-Aleksandrovska, 2017). Such demographic and security risks threatened and tested national,
political, and institutional capacities and regional police cooperation, respectively. The so-called “(Western)
Balkan Route” became the most critical for European security, stability and consistency of EU security and
migration strategies.
The paper follows the categorization given by Bell, Alves, de Oliveira and Zuin (2010, p.16). As people migrate
for a range of different reasons over the latter half of the 20th century, it became possible to identify three
main types of international migration: labour and temporary migrations including illegal migration, forced
migration (refugee movements) and international retirement migration (IRM). The forced migration results
with flows of refugees and asylum seekers who cross borders due to conflicts and political uncertainties, and
the displaced who have lost their settlements due to natural disasters and construction projects (Bell et al.,
2010; Castles, 2003). In this sense, the paper highlights the risks and threats arising from last endeavors
of the migrant and refugee crisis. It emphasizes the perspective from the South East Europe, comparing
EU migration and security policies’ standpoints with actions taken by national governments and regional
cooperation bodies. Consequently, the goal of the paper is to present critically and analytically the lessons
learnt on the Balkan Peninsula. Furthermore, it is focused on ways how to mitigate negative effects and to
have control over security risks and threats, affecting border control, demographical changes and reduced
institutional capacities.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Political science
Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Social Sciences > Other social sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Security
Depositing User: Prof. Rade Rajkovchevski
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2020 20:21
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2022 08:15
URI: https://eprints.uklo.edu.mk/id/eprint/5480

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