One Million Migrants in Europe in 2015

 

Almost a million migrants came to Europe in the year 2015. It was the largest migration in Europe  since World War II. Half of all migrants were from Syria, where a five-year long civil war has all but torn the country apart.

Other  migrants came from in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries in the Middle  East and Northern Africa. The majority of them wanted to go to Germany.

Over 800,000 migrants came via Turkey to Greece, while 150,000 entered Europe through Italy. The passage across the Mediterranean Sea has proved to be very dangerous. Over 3,600 people were killed on route.

For Europe, the current situation is more than a crisis.The EU has been slow in recognizing the problem and handling the crisis. Controlling the EU's outer borders is not working because Greece and Italy do not have the manpower to patrol thousands of kilometres of coastline.

As a result more and more countries in central and south-eastern Europe are imposing border controls. Some of the Balkan countries have built fences along their borders in order to stop the influx of refugees. More and more are being turned back because they do not qualify as asylum seekers. Those who do pass are brought  to border crossings by train or buses on their way northwards.

The European Union has recently promised to give Turkey three billion euros in order to cope with Syrian refugees and set up temporary camps in the country. The EU wants Turkey to reduce the number of refugees who cross the sea to Greece.

 

While some politicians , like Angela Merkel of Germanyinsist that the EU must offer humanitarian help to Syrian refugees , others say that Europe cannot allow everyone to enter.

Migrants at Vienna Train Station

Migrants from the Middle East at the train station in Vienna - Image : © Bwag/Wikimedia

 

Related Topics

 

Words

  • as a result = that is why
  • asylum seeker = someone who leaves their country because they are in danger; they ask the government of another country if they can stay there
  • billion = a thousand million
  • border = line between two countries
  • civil war = conflict in which two groups in the same country fight against each other
  • coastline = where land meets the sea
  • cope = deal with, handle
  • current = at the moment , right now
  • fence = structure made out of wood or metal that is built around a place
  • handle = deal with
  • humanitarian = to give people the help that they need to survive, like food, clothes etc...
  • impose = here: set up, introduce
  • influx = the arrival of many people
  • insist = to say strongly that something is true
  • manpower = all the people they need to do the job
  • majority = most of them
  • Mediterranean Sea = sea between Africa and Europe
  • migrant = person who leaves their country and goes somewhere else in order to live and work there
  • northwards = on their way north
  • on route = on the trip
  • outer = here:  border to non-EU countries
  • pass = get through
  • passage = trip
  • patrol = check, control
  • politician = person who is in politics or works for a government
  • promise = to say that you will do something
  • prove to be = turn out to be
  • qualify = have the right
  • recently = only a short time ago
  • recognize = be aware of, accept a situation
  • reduce = lower
  • refugee = someone who has to leave their country because of a war or another dangerous situation
  • set up = build
  • tear - tore - torn = here: to separate groups of people who live in a country
  • temporary = only for a short time
  • via = through