Over the last decades the public perception of refugees has changed from an image as an accepted person in need to being a threat to national identities and social systems.
Although Europe isn't even in the top ten of refugee destinations worldwide, screenings, boarder controls and defence have been tightened. Catastrophes like the one in Lampedusa, resulting in the deaths of numerous people, have reminded society what risks refugees take on to leave their insecure home country. Promises to improve the migration and refugee policy were made back then. But has there really been a change in refugee policy since the catastrophe and the resulting public outcry?
In HSFK-Standpunkt No. 5/2014 "Schutz von oder vor Flüchtlingen? Europäische Migrations- und Flüchtlingspolitik ein Jahr nach der Katastrophe von Lampedusa", Svenja Gertheiss shows that there have been theoretical changes; not much has changed in real life to protect refugees. Between 2007 and 2013, three times as much money was spent in securing the boarders than for improving the situation of migrants and refugees. Svenja Gertheiss offers solutions for this dilemma and shows how the "Fortress Europe" could be transformed into a safe harbor.
The HSFK-Standpunkt is available as a free PDF download (German only).