The Refugee Crisis and EU integration: The Need for a Fine Balancing Act

By Izza Tahir, Politheor European Policy Network

The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe is threatening to unravel the very fabric of EU integration. It played a decisive role in determining the outcome of the ‘Brexit’ vote, and has sown the seeds of discord across the EU. To prevent further disintegration, the Union must develop a coherent and comprehensive migrant integration policy, and because it must do this amidst a strained political-economic climate, this will need to be a fine balancing act.

The EU needs to view the refugee crisis as an opportunity. Indeed, the long-term benefits of integrating refugees outweigh the short-term costs relating to the reception and processing of refugees, and settlement procedures such as the provision of housing and mental and physical health services, language training, credential recognition and education and employment support.

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