Massive refugee influx, collapsed borders, humanitarian crisis: Quo Vadis Europa?

In 2015, over one million people, mostly refugees, arrived at the shores of Europe, mostly in Turkey and Greece, and continued their journey through the Balkans to the northern EU countries. Large numbers of people entered clandestinely, turned up at, sometimes demonstrated and occasionally even overrun border controls until these were subsequently abandoned under the sheer weight of large numbers. The absence of save routes and the lack of an adequate reception system temporarily resulted in humanitarian emergencies. Social and policy responses were mixed involving some laisser fair and resilience in Turkey and Greece, erratic opening and closing of borders, announcements of measures such as relocation that were never implemented and an initially partly welcoming spirit that is successively complemented by a hostile backlash. As a consequence, core principles of the EU such as freedom of movement are jeopardised. All this has been conceptualised as a multifaceted crisis, a crisis of violence and war in the neighbourhood of Europe, a refugee crisis, a crisis of border controls, a crisis of the EU refugee reception regime, a humanitarian crisis and subsequently a crisis of the EU. Meanwhile the macro-level context of the arrival and integration of one million people in the context of ageing and shrinking populations are not openly discussed.