Home

 

Erik Moberg ©:

 

10. THE ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM BALKAN

 

As seen in (the repeated) Diagram 4 the migration streams from the Balkan countries reached a most considerable peak in 2015. And even if the patterns differ for the different countries this is remarkable in two ways. First, there have not been any particular events or disturbances triggering the migration. During all the period considered here things have, on the whole, been quite normal. But still, and second, the numbers of asylum seekers, as percentages of the populations, have been remarkably high. Thus, and in this respect, Kosovo easily comes first among all countries dealt with here (see the former Table 2), Albania comes second, Macedonia fifth and Serbia sixth (among, it may be repeated, 18 countries). This combination of lack of obvious, sudden reasons and large scale emigration is quite remarkable. How can it be explained?

 

 

 

 

Diagram 4 (repeated): Asylum seekers in the EU/EFTA from Balkan 

 

The explanation has, I think, to take two sets of circumstances into account. The first one is about the conditions in these countries. Albania, as we know, was until 1985 a communist dictatorship run by Enver Hoxha, but then, after his death, it has been democratized, although not completely. Among others corruption is still a severe problem and the legal system is politicized. Going then to Kosovo, Serbia and Macedonia they were earlier parts of marshal Tito’s Yugoslavia, and they belonged to the southern part of that country to a large extent characterized by Islam and by non-western values. In Kosovo, furthermore, there is since it creation a serious conflict between the Albanian majority part of its population and the Serbian minority. Still earlier all of these countries, as well as Albania, were parts of the Ottoman Empire. And, as in Albania, and since politics is corrupt and working badly, many people lack all hope for the future and in particular for their children. Hence, and since long, lots of people want to find some better place for living than their own country.

 

The second set of circumstances is about the migration streams from the Middle and the Far East. These streams have to a considerable extent passed through the Balkan countries and, when so doing, have, in all likelihood, had some kind of triggering or contaminating effect. An effect like that I discussed in the earlier section about the asylum from Iran, and here the problem is the same. For the sudden very rapid expansion of emigration–and that is so for both Balkan and Iran–I cannot find any other explanation.

 

– * –