Central Europe

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Looking at Central European position in actual refugee crisis in order to describe actual situation and predict the future of immigration in the region
Last year group of Czechs were trying to get their old Syrian friend, who was studying with them on university, to Czech Republic. Although he is currently living in bad conditions as a refugee in Lebanon, he already lived in our country, knows our culture and he is graduated in area we have lack of specialists, he couldn’t apply for asylum to the Czech Republic and he couldn’t get even visa there. Nor legal way of the process nor mails to the prime minister and ministry of foreign affairs didn’t help.
After that I am just wondering, who would our government expect to apply to be excellent enough for our country? Or expect they that there will never be real demand for it? According to UNHCR the number of refugees is increasing rapidly last five years, thus we should start with preparing ourselves for the time when our country will become final destination of refugees. What is behind the refusing of refugees across the whole Central Europe? Is it fear what prevents us from taking tough decisions?
Unfortunately, when looking on public opinion, Central European governments actions are easily understandable. The way of dealing with refugee problem is very unlikable going against the opinion of their voters in order to not lose them. This view share leading parties across the region and political spectrum from social democrats in Slovakia to right wing conservatives in Hungary or Poland.
“Majorities in Poland, Hungary, Greece and Italy say that a large number of refugees leaving places like Iraq and Syria are a major threat to their countries, compared with only about a third or less of people in Germany and Sweden, both of which have taken in a large number of migrants” Pew Research center says. The worries are reasonable in South European countries, which are most affected by the current refugee wave and have its own economic troubles, but in Poland that has basically no refugees the fear can’t originate from personal experiences. Data shows that there could be a connection between number of asylum applicants and the sympathy for them. Despite that governments do not want to bear the burden of changing the society by integration of refugees.
This strategy may seem to be advantageous in the short run, but can also lead to big problems in the near future, when there doesn’t have to be any way back from accepting refugees. And then there won’t be only graduated asylum seekers with friends in country, then we will need to accept those who will need it and with this approach, our society won’t be prepared for that situation. As The Economist points out about Somali minority in Finland: “It may seem fanciful to imagine Syrians or Eritreans putting down roots in Poznan or Presov. But no doubt something similar could have been said about Helsinki three decades ago.” Thanks to previous experiences with accepting refugees, Finland is nowadays able to deal with current crisis and the society knows how to integrate them.
When all of these arguments are considered it sounds reasonable that the rational immigrant policies in Central Europe should allow few well selected refugees to live in our countries in order to gain experiences with their integration and to let society get acquainted with the situation. Thereafter we can expect people to be more open to diversity and less fearful from everything unfamiliar. Although this will probably not happen thanks to our policymakers’ short term needs and views looking only to next elections.

Immigration | stály odkaz


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