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The EU is struggling to respond to a surge of desperate migrants that has resulted in more than 3,000 deaths — many perishing or missing in the Mediterranean — since the beginning of the year.
The mass influx of migrants and refugees represents the largest movement of people that Europe has seen since 1945.
The migration has raised doubts about open borders, while sparking a dispute over sharing the burden.
The largest group of people reaching Europe through the Mediterranean or the western Balkans are Syrians fleeing a civil war, but there are also many from Eritrea and Afghanistan, as well as Kosovo and Nigeria. The Financial Times examines the flows with charts.
‘Migrants’ versus ‘refugees’: there is a heated debate over terminology, reflecting the politically charged arguments over the growing crisis. Gideon Rachman, the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator, explains the difference.
The Syrian civil war is a big source of the crisis facing Europe. The conflict has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced more than 8m in over four years. Most of the refugees have fled to neighbouring countries but are now, increasingly, desperate to reach European shores. Here is some of the FT’s coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis as well as of the plight of other migrants.
The mass influx has exposed a long-simmering east-west divide in Europe and called into question the EU’s open-border arrangements. What accounts for the contrasting reactions? Is the Schengen Area under threat?
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has emerged as the defender of a more generous policy towards refugees, taking the lead in speaking out about Europe’s obligations. Germany expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year — more than the whole of the EU combined in 2014.