Migrexit and its Consequences for the European Union
Does the influx of hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants in recent years spell trouble for the European Union (EU) as we know it? To adapt Winston Churchill’s famous phrase, this is not the end or even the beginning of the end but rather the end of the beginning of the EU’s transformation. The Migration Crisis has brought to the surface fissures tearing the EU apart and at the same time bringing Member States closer together. To explain this paradox, I will define terms, examine some dimensions of the problem, discuss the EU response, and assess the consequences. I will not focus on the causes of irregular Migration—others in this Forum have already done so (von Beume, 2016; Hansen, 2016). Instead, I will look more closely at the response and consequences drawing on examples mainly from Greece and Italy where the issue is felt most acutely.