Syria’s brutal civil war is pushing a new wave of migrants towards Europe. Their numbers have surged, but many asylum seekers in Europe have also fled the conflicts and turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa.
European governments are struggling to co-ordinate their response to the influx. Large movements of migrants from country to country quickly fuel suspicions that some politicians are trying to shift the burden onto their neighbours.
Greece and Italy – major entry points for migrants – say there must be more burden-sharing in the EU, especially as they have been hit hard by the eurozone crisis. Migrants continue to board overcrowded, rickety boats, risking their lives. The recent deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean highlighted their plight.
Asylum is granted to those who say they are fleeing persecution and who can convince the authorities that they would face harm or even death if they were to be sent back.
Read more at BBC