Crisis, what Crisis? Some Views from Spain on the Recent Refugee Crisis in Europe

The Spanish approach to the ongoing refugee crisis is certainly striking given the general lack of involvement and indifference with which the national government has addressed the issue. The same cannot be said of other subnational authorities (i.e. autonomous regions, municipalities, etc.) or the general public, who have been particularly active and eventually contributed to the mobilisation of the national government, thus modifying its initial attitude. One should not find extraordinary this reluctance in addressing the problem of refugees, as it in fact reveals a remarkable continuity with the actions of previous governments, whatever their political colour. This undoubtedly constitutes quite a paradox: even if during its recent turbulent history Spain has been generating refugees in large numbers, with the establishment of democracy its attitude towards the notion of asylum revealed a striking lack of ambition.

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Responsibility Sharing of Asylum Seekers in the EU: Good Quality First Reception is the Key

Why are we surprised that asylum seekers will go to great efforts to arrive somewhere where they have a chance of decent reception conditions rather than being forced to live on the street or locked up in horrific detention centres? Clearly good quality first reception is the key to equitable distribution of asylum seekers. Until there are good quality reception facilities available in all Member States there is no point even addressing the question of responsibility sharing.

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