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Erik Moberg ©:

1. Introduction

 

We are now, since some years, witnessing migration streams of people of an extraordinary magnitude, length, complexity and dispersion. In the relatively recent past this is a new phenomenon and it is causing most considerable political problems, and drastic political opinion changes, in the destiny countries. But even if this is so it seems to me that these effects of the migration have been much more discussed and debated than its reasons. In this paper I therefore intend to focus on the reasons for the migration. What has caused this sudden migration eruption, which are the basic reasons and mechanisms behind it? These are the questions I intend to deal with. And I will start by giving, in table 1, a quantitative description of some of the most important migration streams. The table ends with 2015 which is the last year with complete statistics available.

 

Table 1: Asylum seekers in EU 2008-15

 

 

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Afghanistan

11 925

25 075

22 255

30 245

30 410

27 845

42 735

196 205

Iraq

32 230

20 990

16 950

16 120

13 875

11 330

21 900

130 345

Syria

4 725

5 440

5 600

9 240

25 655

52 750

127 890

383 730

Pakistan

10 490

10 175

9 405

16 475

20 095

21 195

22 455

48 555

Iran

6 030

9 410

11 095

12 685

14 440

13 160

11 185

28 525

Nigeria

12 275

12 635

9 140

15 305

10 630

13 950

21 325

32 260

Somalia

19 390

21 770

16 105

15 260

17 270

18 805

18 160

22 815

Eritrea

9 560

9 725

8 050

10 420

11 990

20 290

46 750

47 025

Kosovo

 

14 975

15 175

10 705

10 920

21 175

38 450

73 215

Albania

1 210

2 115

1 970

3 185

7 760

11 405

17 300

68 730

Serbia

15 700

6 440

18 855

15 635

21 065

22 730

31 175

30 325

Macedonia

930

1 025

8 095

6 570

10 785

11 180

10 440

16 110

Sri Lanka

6 805

9 015

7 495

7 875

7 890

7 240

6 810

6 315

Turkey

7 715

7 665

6 965

7 120

6 825

6 135

5 555

5 485

Russia

22 310

21 420

19 595

18 955

25 020

42 275

20 230

22 505

Georgia

5 520

11 175

7 605

7 510

11 670

9 815

9 075

8 200

Sum 1)

166 815

189 050

184 355

203 305

246 300

311 280

451 435

1 120 345

Total 2)

256 155

297 185

284 975

341 795

373 545

464 500

662 175

1 393 285

Percent 3)

65

64

65

59

66

67

68

80

 

1)      This is the sum of the number of asylum seekers from the countries indicated above.

2)      This is the total number of asylum seekers including all countries of origin.

3)      This is the asylum seekers from the countries indicated as a percentage of the total amount of asylum seekers.

 

Many of the migrating people come from countries in the developing world and move into states in the European Union where they are seeking asylum. The table includes all countries of origin of asylum seekers which, in at least one of the years 2008-2015, have been, with respect to the number of asylum seekers, among the top ten ones. In the row labeled “Sum” the sum of asylum seekers from the countries above is indicated. In the row labeled “Total” the total amount of people, from all countries, seeking asylum in the EU since 2008, is indicated. In the final row labeled “Percent” the “Sum”, as a percentage of the “Total”, is indicated. Now, we see that–with the slight exception of the passage from 2009 to 2010–the total number of asylum seekers has increased continuously from in 2008 to 2015. And we also see that the last year, 2015, the countries indicated in the table dominant more clearly than in the preceding years.

 

Furthermore, and for each country in the table, the lowest yearly number of asylum seekers as well as the highest one is underlined. At first we may notice that there are two countries for which the highest number occurs before the lowest number, namely Sri Lanka and Turkey. These countries do thus not contribute to the general increase of asylum seekers and I therefore take them away from the further analysis. We may also notice that, among the remaining nations, all except Serbia, Russia and Georgia had their highest number in 2015. For Russia the highest number occurred in 2013, and it was considerably higher than the number for 2015. For Georgia the highest number occurred still earlier or in 2012. The contribution of these two countries to the present migration streams is therefore just marginal, and therefore I take them away from the further discussion as well. With Serbia it is however somewhat different. The highest figure, which occurs in 2014, is considerably higher than earlier figures and almost as high as the equally high figure for 2015. Serbia will therefore remain for further discussion.

 

Now, a way of finding out the reasons behind the migration may be to look at the different countries, the one after the other, and I will proceed so. And for that purpose I have placed the countries in the table in an order I have found expedient (the reasons for this will, hopefully, become clear, as the text develops). Thus, in my reasoning, I will start with Afghanistan, and then, on the whole, continue downwards in the table.

 

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