‘Shut Down EU’s Gates!’: Hungary and Serbia Faced with Migration Crisis

Written by | Friday, February 13th, 2015

Serbia and Hungary are among the most recent victims of Europe’s migration crisis. Thousands of migrants have fled mostly from Kosovo through Serbia to Hungary seeking a better life in the European Union. Approximately 23,000 migrants, most of them native Albanians, have arrived in Hungary since the beginning of this year while more than 100,000 left Kosovo since last summer. In addition to Albanians, Syrians, Somalis, Iraqis, and Afghans are among the most represented nationalities. Most of the migrants applied for asylum but the influx of asylum seekers has encouraged some Hungarian politicians to call for the authorization of an immediate deportation of those who cross the Schengen border illegally.

According to Antal Rogan, the parliamentary leader of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz-KDNP group, “Hungary’s gates must be shut down to economic migrants.” Many migrants state a lack of opportunities as the main reason for their decision to leave Kosovo and head for the EU. “All these people, all flee from Kosovo because the economy is poor,” commented Malsor Sadiku. “No jobs, no money; we decide to go out from Kosovo and look for a job and better life,” he added.

Kosovo is a partially recognized state of 1.8 million having a GDP per capita of less than $5,000. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 as the Republic of Kosovo. Serbia recognizes the Republic’s governance of the territory, but it still claims it as its own Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. Despite being independent, Kosovo has not yet managed to develop its economy, as a result of which about a third of Kosovans are jobless. Together with adult migrants, Kosovo is slowly losing its children too. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 children have left the country in recent months. The mass migration is causing troubles also in Kosovo itself where it has negative repercussions for those who stay and especially on employers.

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