Reports 2016

Protecting refugees in Europe and beyond: Can the EU rise to the challenge?

5 December 2016

In 2015, Europe experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of refugees and migrants arriving at its external borders. The majority of those arrivals came from conflict-affected countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Whilst in 2016 arrivals have slowed, forced displacement globally continues to increase and the situation remains unpredictable. The EU has responded to the migration challenges it faces by bringing in a raft of changes to its asylum law and policies. In the context of these changes, the Union faces a number of important questions as to the role that it must play in responding to forced displacement. In this Policy Briefing, Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, discusses that reaction of the EU and the steps that must now be taken in order to ensure that robust international protection systems are available in the EU. Grandi also tackled a number of other overarching issues of the ongoing refugee crisis, such as how to strengthen solidarity among member states and how the EU can meaningfully support refugee-hosting countries.