Política Inmigración

No es la primera crisis de refugiados en Europa pero sí es diferente. No hay duda de que es el éxodo más rápido desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial: 10 millones de desplazados en un mes, de los cuales más de tres millones están fuera del país. Esta velocidad en la huida no es solo por la violencia de la guerra. Tiene que ver también con la proximidad geográfica, unos medios de transporte relativamente buenos, el acceso de los ciudadanos ucranios a la UE sin necesidad de visado y la existencia de una red de apoyo al otro lado de la frontera.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bandera de Ucrania con mensaje escrito “Aceptad refugiados”. Foto: Matt Brown


La llegada a la UE de varios millones de refugiados ucranianos plantea desafíos de gestión, financiación e integración, pero cuenta con un apoyo político sin precedentes.


La UE ha activado por primera vez la Directiva de Protección Temporal para acoger a los millones de refugiados que están abandonando Ucrania tras la invasión rusa. Esta llegada ha encontrado un ambiente de completa aceptación por parte de la sociedad europea, incluso desde los partidos xenófobos. A corto plazo la oleada de refugiados plantea desafíos de financiación, coordinación y gestión, y a largo plazo retos para la integración, en un contexto de incertidumbre sobre la duración de la guerra y el volumen de refugiados que va a producir.…  Seguir leyendo »

Little Amal, a giant puppet depicting a Syrian refugee girl creating awareness on the urgent needs of young refugees, with a European Union flag at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images.

One month after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) already faces its largest refugee crisis since World War Two, with more than ten million people having fled their homes – 6.5 million displaced within Ukraine and 3.9 million escaping to neighbouring countries.

Acting quickly and decisively, European governments have opened borders and European citizens have opened their homes in an unprecedented showing of solidarity towards refugees. But, with all eyes on Ukraine, the Greek coastguard continues to illegally push back asylum-seekers crossing from Turkey while Spanish police forcefully repel those who dare to jump the fence in Melilla.

The painful contrast exposes the double standards in the EU’s approach to refugees.…  Seguir leyendo »

People who fled the war in Ukraine line up to pick clothes from an aid point by the train station in Krakow, Poland, on March 29. Omar Marques/Getty Images

As more than 3 million refugees flee Russian terror in Ukraine, mostly within the continent, Europe has thrown open its doors, giving housing and support in an unprecedented time frame of mere weeks. Save for the United Kingdom, European countries have admitted large numbers of Ukrainians into their own countries with enthusiasm while supplying those fighting in Ukraine with an equally unprecedented amount of arms. Berlin, in particular, has seemingly reversed its cautious approach to Russia, and the European Union as an entity has not only publicly committed to considering Ukrainian membership but has taken the unprecedented step of directly supporting Ukraine’s military efforts.…  Seguir leyendo »

People, mainly women and children, arrive in Przemysl, Poland on a train from wartorn Ukraine on March 28. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Numbers never tell the full story of a war. Often, however, they offer a good vantage point to look at the bigger picture. The key piece of data that actually tells the story of the future does not feature Ukraine at all—but, at the same time, illustrates the sheer scale of its tragedy. Since the Russian invasion, more than 2.3 million Ukrainian refugees have crossed the border into Poland.

This number in itself might not yet be worrisome. It becomes so, however, when contextualized. According to calculations made by the United Nations refugee agency and the Financial Times, Poland was ranked 101st globally in number of refugees it hosted in 2021.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian child fleeing the country, Volytsia, Ukraine, February 2022. Natalie Thomas / Reuters

Russian forces continue to grind through Ukraine, shelling cities and killing civilians in the thousands. Nearly four million Ukrainians have fled for Poland, Slovakia, and other neighboring countries. The speed and scale of the Ukrainian exodus makes it the biggest and fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. And it has upended many assumptions about refugees, including the view that forced displacement is a challenge contained to the “global South”.

Europe now hosts more refugees than any other region in the world. The oft-cited UN figure that 85 percent of the world’s refugees are in low- and middle-income countries no longer holds.…  Seguir leyendo »

Refugee children who fled the Russian war in Ukraine attend a school preparation course last week in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters)

More than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. European countries have welcomed them with open arms. Nations in the European Union upheld European Council activated the 2001 Temporary Protection Directive for the first time, permitting Ukrainians to access social services and the labor market.

It was a different story in 2015, when more than 1 million people from Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere crossed into Europe. Countries responded by tightening their borders and quickly negotiating a deal with Turkey to stem arrivals.Since then, European governments have made efforts to deport Syrians, block Afghans and trap sub-Saharan Africans in perilous conditions in Libya.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrants seeking to enter Greece from Turkey, March 2020 Dimitris Tosidis / Xinhua / Eyevine / Redux

In the fall of 2021, the leaders of several European countries announced that they were being confronted by an entirely new security threat: weaponized migration. Over the course of a few months, Alexander Lukashenko, the authoritarian leader of Belarus, enticed thousands of migrants and would-be asylum seekers, primarily Kurds from Iraq and Syria, as well as some Afghans, to his country with promises of easy access to the European Union. Flown into the capital, Minsk, on special visas, they were bused to Belarus’s western border, where they were left in large, unprotected encampments as winter approached and temperatures plunged. Despite EU legislation and UN treaties guaranteeing humanitarian protections for asylum seekers, border guards from Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland pushed those attempting to enter their countries back into Belarus, employing tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets.…  Seguir leyendo »

People who fled the war in Ukraine wait for relocation at the train station in Krakow, Poland, on March 15. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

In the three weeks since Russia’s invasion, nearly 3 million Ukrainians have fled to Europe. In response, the Council of the European Union activated its Temporary Protection Directive (TPD) for the first time. The directive allows all Ukrainians visa-free travel in the E.U. and the right to work, education, housing and health care for one year.

Offering Ukrainian refugees E.U.-wide temporary protection is only the most recent result of the bloc’s discussion over more unified migration policies. In the past 20 years, the E.U. has repeatedly used crises to expand its powers in governing migration, adding new migration agencies, joint operations with individual countries, and regional funding.…  Seguir leyendo »

Syrian and other asylum seekers crossing through Europe in 2015. Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

Another great migration is underway.

At least two and a half million Ukrainians have fled Russia’s merciless bombardment to countries across Europe, while roughly another two million have been internally displaced within Ukraine. It is a tragic upheaval: families have been split apart, homes abandoned, lives upended. What’s happening is a horror, a human travesty.

Yet the situation, however bleak, is not without precedents. At the height of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 one million people fled their homes. By the time the war ended in late 1995, half of the population had been displaced, many of them internally.…  Seguir leyendo »

La invasión rusa de Ucrania ha llevado a uno de los éxodos más rápidos desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial. En tan solo una semana, más de un millón de personas han salido de Ucrania en busca de refugio. No es la primera crisis de refugiados en Europa, pero sí es distinta a las anteriores: por la proximidad geográfica y cultural, por la historia migratoria de los últimos años, por la política de fronteras abiertas, y porque con ella se ha vuelto a geopolitizar el asilo. Este artículo explica por qué esta crisis de refugiados es distinta y por qué en lo fundamental, es decir, el acceso al asilo y los derechos, no debería serlo.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Being a European Muslim has never been a walk in the park.’ Muslim worshippers in Rennes, France, April 2021. Photograph: Jean-François Monier/AFP/Getty Images

France has taken over the rotating EU presidency for the next six months, an opportunity the president, Emmanuel Macron, will no doubt use to nudge Europe towards his goal of greater “strategic autonomy” in the world. Some in Brussels worry that hotly contested presidential elections in April could interfere with France’s EU presidency before a key conference on the future of Europe delivers any results. It’s not reassuring that Macron’s decision, temporarily, to fly the blue and gold EU flag at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris has already drawn the fury of far-right and conservative election candidates.

But many European Muslims are concerned about the French stint in the EU chair for another reason: they fear that France’s divisive anti-Muslim political discourse will seep dangerously into EU policymaking.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un grupo de migrantes espera para recibir comida caliente en el centro logístico de Bruzgi, en la frontera bielorrusa cerca de Grodno, este martes.Pavel Golovkin (AP)

Durante un breve momento, la situación en la frontera entre Polonia y Bielorrusia ha atraído la atención del público. Las imágenes de miles de refugiados procedentes de Irak, Siria, Yemen y otros lugares, que fueron atraídos por el presidente bielorruso Aleksander Lukashenko y reunidos en el territorio bielorruso de la frontera en condiciones inhumanas, despertaron la indignación de la opinión pública europea. Los análisis geopolíticos aparecieron y las respuestas políticas y represivas (sanciones, militarización de la frontera) también.

No obstante, hoy en día, el drama humanitario continúa en ambos lados de la frontera y no se dio una respuesta adecuada. Desde septiembre de 2021, el Gobierno polaco declaró una zona de emergencia a lo largo de su frontera con Bielorrusia.…  Seguir leyendo »

La crisis de Bielorrusia

La “emergencia” migratoria más reciente de la Unión Europea se ha dado por terminada, de momento. A pesar del ostracismo en el que se encuentra Bielorrusia, Lukashenko consiguió hablar por teléfono con Merkel. Bielorrusia trasladó a la gente que se amontonaba en la frontera con Polonia a unas naves provisionales más protegidas y empezó a repatriar a los iraquíes, que habían pagado enormes sumas de dinero por la promesa de llegar a la UE a través de ese país. Pero la crisis no solo se ha cobrado un precio muy elevado en el sufrimiento de quienes solo querían huir de sus respectivos países —han muerto al menos ocho personas—, sino que es posible que acabe siendo también un duro golpe a la evolución futura política del bloque comunitario, porque ha puesto en tela de juicio la legitimidad de la UE como autoridad política que se apoya en unos valores comunes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrants stand in front of Belarusian servicemen as they gather in a camp near the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region. Photo by OKSANA MANCHUK/BELTA/AFP via Getty Images.

When thousands of migrants began freezing to death in the forests on the Belarus border with Poland, Belarusian leader Aliaksandr Lukashenka was forcing the European Union (EU) into a tough choice – either give in to blackmail and welcome migrants whose attempts to trespass the EU border were a result of his policy of luring them to Belarus to put pressure on the EU, or keep the borders closed and declare solidarity with Poland despite its known mistreatment and illegal pushbacks of potential asylum-seekers.

Lukashenka’s action was aptly exploiting three key pressure points of the EU – as a normative power where the human dignity of migrants is overlooked while the European border and coastguard agency Frontex stands by, as a geopolitical actor seeking to externalize its migration problem by signing readmission agreements with transit countries, and as a community of values with the EU-Poland dispute over rule of law.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrantes rescatados en el Mediterráneo a bordo del Geo Barents.Ed Ou (The Outlaw Ocean Project)

En julio de 2018, el Asso 28, un barco de suministro de petróleo italiano que cruzaba el Mediterráneo, se encontró con una balsa de goma que llevaba un centenar de migrantes desesperados. En su intento de realizar el peligroso viaje desde Libia hasta Europa, los migrantes habían llegado a aguas internacionales cuando el buque los rescató, y su capitán optó por llevarlos no a un puerto seguro en Europa, como requiere la legislación, sino de vuelta a un gulag de centros de detención de migrantes en Libia, donde Naciones Unidas y otras entidades han documentado torturas sistemáticas, violaciones, extorsiones, trabajo forzado y muertes.…  Seguir leyendo »

En el gélido bosque de Bialowieza, en la frontera bielorrusa con Polonia, miles de migrantes se han convertido en la munición de un siniestro intercambio cuyas consecuencias tendrán un alcance continental. Si el comportamiento miserable del dictador Aleksandr Lukashenko es una muestra del peligro de los autoritarismos contemporáneos, la respuesta equivocada de la UE podría poner en riesgo el Estado de derecho y la estructura legal que ha sostenido durante décadas la protección internacional del desplazamiento forzoso.

En 2021 se cumplen 70 años de la adopción en Ginebra de la Convención del Estatuto de los Refugiados y del funcionamiento del Alto Comisionado para los Refugiados.…  Seguir leyendo »

Migrants gather in a camp near Bruzgi-Kuznica checkpoint on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region, Belarus, November 18, 2021. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

What’s going on at the border between Belarus and Poland?

Since the late summer, women, men and children, most of them Kurds from northern Iraq, have gathered at the Polish-Belarusian border. They are hoping to cross into the European Union (EU) in Poland and, in most cases, move on to Germany, where many have relatives or acquaintances. In the last month, most of the migrants made camp near the Bruzgi Kuznica crossing in the Grodno region of Belarus. Poland has refused to let them cross into its territory and declared a state of emergency in its border areas. Brussels has backed Warsaw.…  Seguir leyendo »

Europe Made a Deadly Bargain With Autocrats. Here’s What Happened

It’s shocking to see. Children huddle over precariously built bonfires and parents hold babies to their chests while soldiers, behind thickets of razor wire, look on impassively. But the images from the Belarus-Poland border, however harrowing, shouldn’t be surprising: This is what the European Union’s migration policy looks like.

Without doubt, the greatest share of blame for this humanitarian catastrophe — in which thousands of migrants, many from Iraq and Syria, were penned into a freezing forest for weeks on end — lies with Belarus’s leader, Aleksandr Lukashenko. In apparent retaliation for E.U. sanctions against his regime, his government shepherded people to the heavily fortified Polish border, where they faced only hardship and suffering.…  Seguir leyendo »

La mano que mece la cuna bielorrusa

Desde que Alexander Lukashenko se negara a reconocer su derrota electoral en las elecciones de agosto del año pasado, sus actuaciones se han caracterizado por una brutalidad sin igual. Los líderes opositores, incluida la ganadora de las elecciones, Svetlana Tijanovskaya, han sido detenidos o forzados al exilio, y los miles de personas detenidos en el marco de las protestas han sido objeto de torturas, brutales palizas e incluso abusos sexuales. La deriva del régimen de Lukashenko llevó el pasado mes de mayo a un insólito acto de piratería aérea, al forzar el aterrizaje en Minsk de un vuelo de Ryanair con origen en Atenas basándose en una falsa amenaza de bomba con el objeto de encarcelar al periodista crítico con el régimen Roman Protasevich.…  Seguir leyendo »