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Which European Countries Oppose Absorption of Refugees?

Refugee issue in Europe

Growing Discord Among EU Nations Regarding Refugee Absorption

Migration Concept

The European Union is split over plans to absorb increasing numbers of refugees and migrants from North Africa, Afghanistan and across the Middle East. Finland has emerged as one of the countries with sharp divisions on this contentious issue. The Finnish Prime Minister, Juha Sipila, has reportedly offered one of his own residences to refugees, and the country has increased the quota for refugees it is willing to absorb in 2015, from 15,000 to 30,000 people. The dilemma centers around refugees refusing or unable to assimilate to Finnish culture. This is a hotbed issue across Europe, where conservatives are opposed to widespread acceptance of refugees and migrants who do not integrate fully into their local society. MPs across the EU have voiced their discontent on the failures of multiculturalism.

Asylum Issue Split Along Political Lines

Religion remains an intractable component of Finnish society, where 70% of the population are Lutherans. But it is the self-same church that was calling for Finland to accept refugees in their droves, albeit with potential for religious conflict. There are fears of hate crimes on the one side against the migrants and refugees vis-a-vis xenophobia, and acts of terrorism being committed against citizens of European countries on the other. Those favoring a welcoming stance tend to be from left-leaning circles in the political realm, while those who oppose widespread absorption tend to be from right-wing groups. There are some 28 member states in the European Union, but not all of these countries have accepted European Union rules when it comes to asylum and related policy. These countries include Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom. With as many as 160,000 refugees migrating across European borders, nobody is certain about how best to distribute these people.

Asylum Seekers and the Countries Willing to Accept them

The majority of refugees are Syrian, but there are many others from African and other Middle Eastern countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Eritrea. Some people will be expatriated back to their countries of origin, while others will be fingerprinted, documented and processed for asylum. It is imperative that the identities of each asylum seeker are accurate, failing which the proper documentation cannot be acquired. Two years ago, the European Union returned 39% of people who were not granted asylum. Germany is the most receptive country to asylum seekers, with migrants moving into it through Turkey, Greece, Hungary, and Austria. During 2014, Germany welcomed an estimated 173,000 refugees seeking asylum. And in 2015 the Germans are expecting more than 800,000 applications.

Problems for the European Union

At the risk of sounding the alarm, there appears to be very little cohesion in Europe. The Union is shaky at best, and attempting to force quotas on individual countries is proving highly divisive. However humanitarians are urging member countries not to see this as a left or right issue, rather it is being pushed as the morally correct thing to do. The countries expected to take the largest numbers of migrants are Sweden, Spain, Poland, the Netherlands, Romania, Germany and France. According to the proposals, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark have carte blanche to decide whether they wish to take part in any type of quota system. It is clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg, since the real challenges begin once immigrants must adapt to their new societies.

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William R. Feins , freelance journalist from London, UK; he received his B.A. degree in Economics and his Masters in Sociology. William has always been interested in the mechanics of business and the inspiration of original thinkers, and firmly believes that the former can’t succeed without the latter. In his spare time, he enjoys the ridiculous spectacle of watching table tennis on a big screen (preferably at a pub) and reading weighty tomes about World War II.


  1. I think the problem here is the fact that how many of those refugees are genuine and not economic migrants. Although I still think that the EU should help the refugees and offer them protection but as I said before they need to make sure that only the people who are desperate for help get the protection they need.

  2. Europe is going to face problems in the future regarding law, order and finances considering the the volume of refugees. Some of the European countries have closed their doors and rightly so. When their own economy is facing recession and job cuts, how can they afford all these refugees with food, accommodation and benefits. More troubling is the fact that why all these migrants are coming to Europe? Why don’t the rich Muslim countries attract them?

  3. This situation is indeed a problem. I collected items that were taken to the refugees at Calais, but didn’t receive much support and some people thought that I was wrong to help. Obviously, if situations in people’s own countries could be resolved, such influxes of refugees would likely not happen. These people need to go somewhere, but in all honestly, I don’t think the UK, at least England and NI could really take anymore without it having a negative, knock on effect on our own residents.

  4. I think this should be organised by letting people into a country on a temporary basis with full knowledge that the migrants have to return to their country after it is deemed safe again and not offering people a new life completely. Who is allowed to walk past borders to a country of your choice in the real world?.

  5. Yes we should take in asylum seekers BUT once the initial crisis has passed, we still need to look after them and help them to integrate into their new country. It is a huge, long term commitment.

  6. And why do “we” need to do anything about this, when nations that speak the language of these refugees, share a religion and culture with them, and are NEARBY, have accepted exactly ZERO refugees?

    And yes, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and United Arab Emirates, I’m pointing to **YOU**. Saudi Arabia alone has existing, standing, AIR-CONDITIONED tents in place for 3-million-plus people. With associated feeding and medical facilities. . .

  7. I believe that the Arab countries should be doing more, if they really believe that everyone should be Muslim the least they can do is take some of them in. I’m not saying we should reject refugees in Europe, we have to do our part, because we are mostly the reason that they are in that situation.

    At some point in the future we will all become refugees seeking water due to global warming. It is a very real threat and actually one of the reasons a large number of Syrians have been displaced despite the war. I hope that when we travel to seek a more stable climate they will not reject us at the door.

  8. Yes i think we should should help asylum seekers for the short term. BUT once the initial crisis has passed, they have to return to their country after it is deemed safe again and not offering people a new life completely.

  9. Very well written piece. I agree that the problem is nuanced and is unlikely to be solved overnight. If not managed correctly the crisis could have repercussions that could tear the European Union apart. I do wonder if it would be more prudent in the long run to match refugees to host nations which are more likely to be accepting to the demographic of the migrants.

  10. I think this topic is the most important of this year. we can’t ignore the refugees.we should help them.in that case EU have to see this,that refugees are genuine or not.

  11. i think there are some organisations like united nations/oic should come forward from their inactivity. europe have got their own problems like Greece or so many other countries going through financial crisis. in addition ,middle east should work together for helping out their muslim countires. they hae got enough wealth.

  12. Honestly, I really want to help the refugees but after the whole Cologne situation: I think that many countries are going to be wary. It’s a shame that so few stupid people can affect so many innocent people.

  13. As a UK resident I do hope to see an increase in the intake of asylum seekers. We all have a responsibility to protect our lands and those people who suffer from our ‘protection’. Even if we do eventually opt out of the EU as a nation, this responsibility still holds.

  14. Germany is a prime example of why we as Europe should not take anymore asylum seekers. In the hospitals, the Syrians refuse to seek medical aid from female doctors and think they are better than the Germans. But you won’t hear this in the media because it’s all dainty in Germany.

  15. I feel we can’t ignore refugees especially if they need our help and protection in one way or the other. Some countries such as United kingdom are better off compare to others and I feel these countries shouldn’t back off. Being a uk citizen I am aware that David Cameron is wary about this topic but I feel this is unfair.




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