German historian Hans Peter Schwarz claims that European leaders have learnt nothing from the migrant crisis in 2015 and the continent is ill-prepared to deal with the next inevitable crisis.
In his newly released book, The New Migration to Europe, the German historian has analysed the current immigration trends in Germany and the exploding demographic growth in Africa and the Middle East, concluding the next migrant crisis is only a matter of time, Kronen Zeitung reports.
“We are not prepared for migration,” Schwarz said and claimed that the current legislation dealing with asylum seekers in Europe is from “another time”.
He said the legislation, which was meant to be able to deal with small numbers of asylum seekers, is simply inefficient in handling mass waves of thousands of migrants at a time.
“As long as the European Union abides by its well-intentioned but out of date refugee rights, any attempt to effectively protect the EU’s external borders will fail due to legal self-restraint,” he said.
Schwarz laid the blame for the crisis on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the German federal government. “Never before in the 65 years of German history has a federal government caused such chaos,” he said and noted that if it had not been for the Austrian government closing the Balkan route the chaos would have continued.
The solution to the problem, according to Schwarz, is to reform the EU and largely scrap the open-borders Schengen agreement, opting instead for some border controls.
Managing the number of migrants is also important and Schwarz recommended the number of asylum seekers never grow to more than 1.5 per cent of the population of a country. In 2015 alone, Sweden took in the equivalent of 1.6 per cent of its population and Germany took around 1.2 per cent.
Though the Balkan migrant route has been largely secured, the Mediterranean route into Italy and Spain continues to grow. In a 48-hour period, Italy saw 13,500 migrants arrive on its shores and days before 400 migrants attempted to storm the border with France.
Estimates of how many migrants are looking to cross the sea to Europe vary, though some like European Parliament President Antonio Tajani say as many as 30 million people could come in the next few years.
A leaked report from German authorities estimated a smaller number saying they expected around 6.6 million migrants to cross the sea in coming years from North Africa, Jordan, and Turkey. The confidential report notes that despite it being closed, there are 76,000 migrants still on the Balkan route, 62,500 of them in Greece alone.