Hungary installed a meter-high fence on the border in 2015 to stop the flow of refugees. But according to experts, this has not reduced the number of asylum seekers, which is what Mona Keizer claimed this morning in Sabah Netherlands.
“This was the first change in the big influx of refugees,” Mona Keizer said this morning about Hungary’s border walls on the TV show Goedemorgen Nederland. “When I was the spokesperson for asylum and migration, Orban put up walls. Everyone was thinking all kinds of things about it.”
Director of the International Institute of Social History, Leo Lucassen, says “this is nonsense” regarding the claim that fences are preventing the influx of asylum seekers. “This shift is one of the effects of what happened in Syria.” During that period, fewer asylum seekers came from Syria.
According to him, there is no significant difference in the number of asylum seekers before and after 2015, if you leave Syria. “What had a slight impact was the agreement with Turkey in 2016, but that is a completely different story than those fences.”
According to political scientist Saskia Bonjour, border walls do not reduce migration. “Walls can make people take a different path, but they never make them decide not to migrate at all.”
Bonjour sees that despite those walls, people still pass through Hungary. “But much less at the moment.”
Not reduction but displacement
MEP Tinky Streeck also believes that walls have not led to downsizing, but to displacement. “They had a certain route that went through Hungary. When this fence was installed, people moved their way to Croatia.”
According to Strick, these new routes are often longer, riskier and more expensive. “Because you are once again relying on people smugglers.” But according to Strick, more dangerous methods do not stop people from diving. “Anyway, they couldn’t come back.”
The cause of all problems
According to Bonjour, the reason why these walls continue to be built is because of the statements that politicians make about immigration. “They initially give the impression that immigration is the cause of almost all problems in society.”
Promises are often made here to stop migration. “That’s a promise they can’t keep.” According to Bonjour, politicians are taking increasingly radical steps that are still not working, such as building walls.
You are not the only one
Hungary is not the only European country that has taken the step of building a border wall against immigration. Belarus, Poland and Greece, among others, have erected walls. In total, more than 2,000 kilometers of border walls have been built in Europe so far.
The recently planned border wall is a 35-kilometre extension of the border wall between Greece and Turkey. According to the Greek government, this extension will be completed at the end of this year.
Therefore, the Hungarian border walls did not reduce the number of asylum seekers in Europe. “If a country starts building walls, it does not mean that migration will stop.” Strick believes this is too simplistic and short-sighted.
According to Lucassen, no contact can be made. “Then you have to think that fewer asylum seekers have arrived in Europe since 2016.” According to him, the numbers have actually increased in recent years.
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