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In a book published simultaneously in French and in Dutch in September 2018, Continent Without Border[1], State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Theo Franken criticizes the passivity and the politically correct culture of the Belgian and European leaders in the migration crisis since 2015.


Willy Fautré, Human Rights Without Frontiers

 

HRWF (23.10.2018) – In summer 2015, 1,257,030 new applications for asylum were introduced in the European Union.

 

At the height of the crisis between August and December 2015, 5000 persons filed an application for asylum in Belgium but only 21.1% were introduced by Syrians: 7554 out of 35 776[2].

 

The other asylum-seekers were Afghans and Iraqis that traffickers in human beings had convinced that EU countries would provide them housing, cash and facilities for family reunification, according to Francken. The reason behind the massive wave of emigration of Baghdadis was not the (non-existent) war waged by ISIS troops in the capital city of Iraq but prospects of a better economic future. The salaries of the public servants had just been dramatically reduced because of the fall of the oil price and because Turkey had liberalized the visa regime concerning the Iraqi citizens.

 

In September 2015, 2662 migrants from Baghdad filed an application for asylum in Brussels. An information campaign targeting Facebook profiles of young Iraqis finally erased the image of Belgium as a “Promised Land” and contributed to the reduction of this immigration wave from Iraq.

 

While the Western media were presenting the asylum-seekers as “Syrian war refugees”, State Secretary Theo Francken stresses that the migration crisis only broke out four years after the war was raging in Syria, that less than 1/3 of the persons entering Europe without visa claimed to be Syrian (but not all were) and most of the (really Syrian) asylum seekers were not coming directly from Syria but from UNHCHR refugee camps or in big cities of Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan where they had been living for years.

 

It was therefore obvious that Europe was not facing a crisis of Syrian refugees but was confronted to the sudden rise of a broader international migration crisis that had already been proliferating for years, according to Francken. In 2015, people from no less than 117 countries requested asylum in Belgium, that is to say 70% of non-EU countries.

 

“Few asylum seekers come from war regions and they have also travelled across many safe countries before setting foot on the European territory,” says Francken who stresses that the end of the war in Syria will not lead to the end of the migration pressure on Europe.

 

Last but not least, Francken accuses the media, Belgian politicians and EU top leaders to have spread views of the crisis that did not correspondent to the statistical realities.

 

[1] Continent sans frontière, 310 pages, Editions Jourdan

[2] https://cgra.be/sites/default/files/statistiques_asile_decembre_2015.pdf

 

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