What caused the refugee crisis? Obviously, no single factor is entirely to blame. There’s no shortage of reasons why the number of migrants and refugees entering the EU started dramatically rising around 2015. The arrivals come from different countries, and they each have their own reasons for seeking entry into Europe.

Many are fleeing violence. The top three countries of origin for people seeking asylum in the EU are Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq; all three of those countries are facing protracted insurgencies (or even outright civil war). Somebody coming from Eritrea, however, is more likely to be running from that country’s brutal dictatorship. Refugees from Nigeria might be trying to escape Boko Haram. And, of course, there are also economic migrants who are trying to break out of poverty and seek a better life in Europe.

Some of our readers blame the West for that violence. We had a comment from Daniel blaming “Western geopolitics” for destabilising the Middle East and North Africa. It’s certainly true that the intervention in Libya led to the collapse of central authority there, and the resulting chaos has been exploited by people smugglers. President Obama called the West’s failure to prepare for the aftermath of the Libya campaign the ‘worst mistake’ of his Presidency.

Likewise, it’s possible to argue that a series of Western policy failures in Iraq after the 2003 invasion led directly to the collapse of Mosul, when over 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and security personnel abandoned the city to as few as 800 ISIS militants. Others have argued that the policy of Western governments to arm “moderate” Syrian rebels has backfired spectacularly.

We recently had the chance to interview HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Chairman of the West Asia – North Africa (WANA) Institute. He was speaking at an event organised by Friends of Europe in Brussels, looking at the root causes of the refugee crisis. What would he say to Daniel?

We also had a comment from Irmeli, who believes that population growth is the biggest driver behind the refugee crisis. We’ve already looked at environmental issues and whether climate change might have played a part in the recent refugee crisis, but what about overpopulation? Population growth in the Middle East and North Africa has been faster than in any other region of the world for the past century. Is this sustainable?

How would HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal respond to Irmeli’s comment?

Is Western geopolitics to blame for the refugee crisis? Has population growth contributed to political instability? Or has climate change been one of the the main drivers? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – The U.S. Army

318 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. Daniel Parvanov

    Progressives believe that no matter what they do it will lead to progress in long run… so Under president Obama they destabilised middle east and africa we live the consequences

    • Vitaliy Markov

      Under Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and now Trump as well.

    • Christopher bennett

      The bombing of Iraq the Iraq war bombing of ,Afghanistan ,bombing of Libya ,and Syria destabilised these areas and the problem exponentially worse

  2. Αναγέννηση

    If there was a established EU Defense Force , then there would be no migrant crisis in the EU created by the Turkish State Sponsored flood of the European Union with illegal immigrants, since a EU Defense Force , would create a IRON WALL in the Mediterranean , stretching from Bulgaria to Spain , while also contributing to rapidly ending the British State Sponsored Turkish Military invasion and occupation of EU member Cyprus since 1974. The current European Security and Defense Policy unit of the European Union , needs to be immediately expanded , upgraded and transformed into a all professional million personnel EU Defense Force. There is CIVIL WAR In Turkey . Turkey is a Rogue State . Turkey is a State Sponsor of ISIS Terrorism . Turkey is completely unreliable and useless to NATO . Turkey needs to be dissolved into 6-7 pieces with the establishment of a Sovereign Federation Nation State of Kurdistan , uniting the Kurdish regions of BAKUR , BASUR and ROJAVA in one Kurdish Nation State allied to NATO. President Trump is furious with both Britain and Turkey due to the British – Turkish alliance against the Americans in Cyprus since 1950 fortified by the British State Sponsored Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of EU member Cyprus since 1974, so as to provide the British Military bases in Cyprus , a security advantage for the British Military bases in Cyprus against American efforts since 1950 in trying to expel the British Military from Cyprus so as to establish American military bases in Cyprus , which contributed into making the Bush Administration in 2003 make the American Military invade Iraq and overthrow the Saddam Hussein dictatorial Bathist Regime , on the American fear of conflict between the European Union and Turkey due to the Turkish Military occupation of EU member Cyprus from May 1 2004 when Cyprus became a member of the European Union, creating for the US and the Bush Administration , the worlds biggest foreign policy military disaster not seen since the ancient Trojan War as admitted by American Pentagon officials.

    • Christopher bennett

      The west destruction of the infrastructure ,schools ,hospitals ,roads ,bridges drinking water, in Iraq ,Libya ,Syria ,is what created these problems in the first place and no action has been take to actually rebuild the harm and damage they caused in the first place

  3. Marko Martinović

    Partly, there are many factors to account for. They did not want to go to other Arabic countries that have simmilar culture. This crisis would not be that bad if refugees would not come from such opposing and violent culture and their refusal to integrate. Also EU politicians who destroyed Schengen and participated in covering refugee and migrant crimes should be charged as acomplices to those crimes and terror.

    • Iván Marsh Whateley

      Do you know how many millions of refugees hace Jordan Lebanon Egypt or even IRAK?

    • Marko Martinović

      They hve the same culture and middle east could have handled them all. Also it would be closer to them. Refugees trecked accross 10 safe countries. They could have stopped there, and be helped by EU. Shengen was broken for no reason. Now terror, assault and rape is our new normal. People are being killed for no reason. EU leadership needs to answer for this, they are accomplices and enablers of terror

  4. Jose Marcal

    Let me think… What did they leave in Lydia after the nice speeches? What is left of Iraq? What are we offering as a solution in Syria? Did I mention Egypt? Afghanistan? Right…

  5. Spiros Pythagoras

    There is no doubt…. Indians,Aboriginals, and other genuine habitats were perished by western politics.History is repeating.Only in this case we- the western citizens- are the ones will be perished…

  6. Spiros Pythagoras

    There is no doubt…. Indians,Aboriginals, and other genuine habitats were perished by western politics.History is repeating.Only in this case we- the western citizens- are the ones will be perished…

  7. Spiros Pythagoras

    There is no doubt…. Indians,Aboriginals, and other genuine habitats were perished by western politics.History is repeating.Only in this case we- the western citizens- are the ones will be perished…

  8. Spiros Pythagoras

    There is no doubt…. Indians,Aboriginals, and other genuine habitats were perished by western politics.History is repeating.Only in this case we- the western citizens- are the ones will be perished…

  9. Christos Mouzeviris

    Partially… Middle Eastern geopolitics are the main source of trouble, but the West is engaging and meddling to promote its own interests, so we are equally to blame.

  10. Adrian Rodríguez Molina

    Anyone who says yes needs to brush up on the history of Islam and the Middle East. Of course the West has some responsibility, but blaming us for everything is, at very least, ridiculous.

    • Astrit Disha

      It is West regardless of the short glorious era of the Maori..

    • Adrian Rodríguez Molina

      As I said before, the West has some level of responsibility, but it would be naive to ignore all other factors involved. Western intervention in the Middle East and Norther Africa has in many cases been justified for the wrong reasons and w have failed to carry out our actions completely, so tyrants have been toppled (most notably Saddam, talibans in Afganistan, Gaddafi) but nations have been left in disarray, no clear direction for progress and constant fighting between sectarian groups for power. Some questions going forward should be ¿can our future interventions be successful? ¿how can we ensure success? ¿what can we do with current interventions and their failures? Looking to assign blame without offering clear solutions to present and future issues is a waste of time.

    • Adrian Rodríguez Molina

      That’s why we need to address the questions I posted… what’s done is done, we can’t just pick up and leave the Middle East, it’s not that easy. There are positive things we can do now, obviously they require political agreements that are unlikely to happen in the short term. All I’m saying is that we have a problem, but we’re not going to solve it simply by pointing fingers at who’s to blame.

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      You have a point on this, we have to clean up the mess that west and especially us created in that region even if we are not equally responsible for it but if we are really want to do something we have to take out the radicals and stay there for years if not decades it’ll they are black on their fits again. .

    • Adrian Rodríguez Molina

      Agreed, a strong and coordinated presence in areas of conflict would, in the long run, probably help stabilize. Of course it will be a long process but it would be best if we learn from past mistakes. Afganistan, Irak and Libya are, in my opinion, the best examples of what the West considered “easy” and quick operations. All three are facing militant threats as a result of a lack of coordination between coalition nations, especially relative to the aftermath of armed conflict.

  11. Franco Suarez

    Debating Europe; The answer is obvious, but the question is absurd. Of course, European vassal forces, know as, NATO are responsible for the refugee crisis and the destabilization in the Middle East. This people (REFUGEES) are coming to Europe, because we have destroyed their infrastructure, poisoned their lands, water, and air to satisfy AmeriKKKan war profiteers and psychopaths. Your question reveals the magnificent stupidity, ignorance and inhumanity in Europe; especially, by those member nations that created this misery, and have resorted to false flagged attacks and character assassination to justify and fuel hate against our victims in this KKKrusade. Better questions to ask are, who benefits from the carnage, who authorizes these war crimes in our governments, and how soon can we end those military officers and government officials careers, if not their lives.

    • Tony Muñiz

      LOL…. We can smell your anti Americanism and as well as your ignorance. You must be a leftwing bording on communism. Are you aware that the KKK was founded by democrats? And the so called Arab springs promoted by Europeans? Lybia was all EU. Yeah, the left leaning governments in the EU.

    • Franco Suarez

      I liked your previous post Tony, Colores de sangre y oro lucen en nuestra bandera, no hay oro para comprarla, ni sangre para vencerla! Orgulloso de ser Español!!! #VivaEspaña #NoALaTricolor🇪🇸️ Too bad you cannot see how your misguided, duplicit allegiance is detrimental to Spain and all of Europe. There are 360 degrees in a sphere, but there are more than 800 AmeriKKKa bases and torture chambers around the globe and inserted in NATO, some of them are aiming to fire at our heads. This is not about parties, it is about repudiating tyranny. This is about their diplomacy “Fuck the EU, fuck Europe”. Yes, I am anti-AmeriKKKan.

    • Christopher bennett

      Well said
      Another thing wether or not the KKK were founded by democrates the KKK the American neo nazi party,the ayran brotherhood the alt right and their affiliates are all extreme far right ameriKKKan white supremacist nut jobs .

  12. Franco Suarez

    Debating Europe; The answer is obvious, but the question is absurd. Of course, European vassal forces, know as, NATO are responsible for the refugee crisis and the destabilization in the Middle East. This people (REFUGEES) are coming to Europe, because we have destroyed their infrastructure, poisoned their lands, water, and air to satisfy AmeriKKKan war profiteers and psychopaths. Your question reveals the magnificent stupidity, ignorance and inhumanity in Europe; especially, by the population of those member nations that created this misery, and have resorted to false flagged attacks and character assassination to justify and fuel hate against our victims in this KKKrusade. Better questions to ask are, who benefits from the carnage, who authorizes these war crimes in our governments, who is complicit in the media, and how soon can we end those war profiteers, military officers and government officials careers, if not their lives.

  13. catherine benning

    What you have to ask is, would hundreds of refugees be coming to Europe if we were not bombing the shit out of their homeland? And why are we there spending billions of our ‘Inland Revenue’ bombing their land in the first place? Anyone got a straight answer?

    However, all the refugees coming from places that are not being bombed are on an opportunist trail. And there are thousands of them. For example those pretending to be children when they are in their late thirties. Hundreds of them. Why are they not sent back to country of origin prior to entry?

    Another reason these fleeing their own land is, their relatives and friends already in Europe have told them what a scam it is. How they are fed and housed and receive legal aid so they cannot be returned no matter the level of illiteracy. How, if they arrive sick and with a myriad of complaints in their health, they cannot be returned under EU law. How our police forces have been told to keep it quiet if they appear to be terrorists as they don’t want the citizens of each state to have a reason to demand they be deported. How the same state cover up any horrific treatment this low life brigade treat our females. How mutilation of women and children is hidden from view. And, officials do this because they do not want to admit their idiotic policies of free movement is a shambles in a civilised society.

    In other words, politicians do not want to accept they are all, without one excuse, unfit for purpose.

    It is not the fault of the refugees, it is the fault of the traitors we have in our collective governments who allowed this to happen. They should be forced to resign and atone for their deceptiveness by being made penniless and homeless without the possibility of ever having a job again. And any of them that came in as refugees themselves, or, were offspring of those entering, should be returned to their family country of origin. With no chance of ever being admitted again.

    If you look into it you will find most of them build palaces in their homeland for them to return their anyway. Especially if they are Pakistani, Bangladeshi and so on. It is an eye opener.

    In the UK we have criminals in the House of Lords who are immigrants, living in social housing, fiddling expenses they take to build these palaces, yet keep the places that were built for the poor and still find they are able to remain sitting in the Lords after they have been rumbled. Astonishing abuse of tax payers largesse.

    Read all about it.


    And the Mansion she built in her homeland.


    Of course there are list of others. this is just a soupcon. there are a few more of them we are still paying for. Laughable.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pirvulescu Florin
      SO Germany and France don’t exist then?

    • Bódis Kata

      Leave some room for the age-old conflicts within the islamic world too.

    • Παυλος Χαραλαμπους

      Hmmm…i think we have to always to think what we can do to make better our position or at least not make it worse , i mean we always accept the U.S. policy in that region unconditionally and we are the ones at the end of the day that pay the price. To make things worse we don’t have a common strategy to deal with the problem EVEN Turkey is bulling us around. ..

  14. Bódis Kata

    The greed of the transatlantic oligarchs. They run their politicians, they run their wars and make more and more money on other people’s misery.

    • Bódis Kata

      The single most responsible is the petrodollar, I think.

  15. Wolfgang Mizelli

    aftermath of imperialism and still colonial attitudes towards african and asian regions. and profits before politics.

  16. Dagmar Ueberfeld-Lang

    Difficult to seriously question it. The West has for decades interfered in the ME for their own political and financial gain, leading with the US. What’s currently happening with Qatar and how the US is happily jumping to Saudi Arabia’s side refueling the flames against Iran is appalling.

  17. EU Reform- Proactive

    Yes! BUT- the 1,400 year old schism in the Muslim world between Sunni and Shia is the root cause of today’s oldest and bloodiest unresolved global dispute.

    No single non Muslim (Western) institution or none Muslim politicians should interfere or intervene to solve Muslim problems. It has to emerge within their leadership. Meddling in their affairs only worsened their feud and (self) destruction- resulting in a stream of refugees to non Muslim countries.

    The global Muslim communities need first to unite under ONE Muslim philosophy and ONE Muslim religious figure. Unconditionally accept peaceful coexistence with the rest of the world and end their schism- before asking others to uplift their society. They would have enough petrodollars in their own kitty.

    Better advice for HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal would be to canvass his fellow Muslim leaders to unify their faith, instead asking the productive West or East for (more) money. In the meantime their oil will remain their most valuable export & income to play hide & seek with. Not to be wasted on religious feuds, insurgencies, terrorism & destruction.

    The atheist EU need to be aware it is not just welcoming & importing Muslim refugees- (“as a pure workforce”), but also their religious schism, feuds & habits as practiced at home.

    If not made explicitly to adapt, adopt and subscribe to European values they will automatically (aggressively) choose a similar way of life as the only one known to them since generations. What will it be?



  18. Kialee Kajar

    Western geopolitics is definitely one reason, but not the only one. Saying that everything is fault of the West is simplifying things very much, as if countries of the Middle East would be some puppets that can be manipulated to fight against each other. Believe it or not, those countries are capable of making independent decisions. They make their own politics, pursue their own interest and make war on their own.

    As to what Irmeli said, I agree. Population growth is one reason too – it effects everything.

  19. Sandra

    Every EU country is willing to be a transit point for migrants, not the settlement point. Poland is a typical EU country in this context. Now, I’d prefer Ukrainian migrants not stay in Poland but rather go to the Scandinavian countries or Germany or other places in EU space. Frankly, I’m scary of the domestic nationalistic elements that can start a real hunt on the Ukrainian migrants. We don’t need any street squabbles and all that you know. Visa free regime with Ukraine is just madness imo.

  20. Marko Martinović

    Yes. By destabilizing middle east, then by letting them in. Then by not vetting them, Then by cowering up their crimes

  21. Kamber Alei

    European leaders need to rethink their foreign policies …it has a greater interdependence with the middle-east than US….and so always joining US in bombing these countries without thinking of the reprecursions is to blame

  22. Agelos Kiose

    Why are all of you so naive, the different muslim denominations have been fighting each other for a thousand years, there has never been peace in the middle east. Moreover the death and destruction is caused by other muslim people not the westeners, you are blaming the manufacturer of the gun and not the murderer.

    • Marco Bianchi

      The situation was much more stable when the so-called dictators were still in power!
      Politicians have to understand that a democratic regime can only survive if there is a general democratic culture! In that countries, this is simply not the case!
      By removing the so-called “dictators”, we have paved the way for the rise of Islamic extremism and the rise of terrorist organizations!

    • Agelos Kiose

      I am not arguing with that, i want european countries to stop any kind of foreign intervention even if it has good motives. But it seems like midddle east will always find a way to start a war.

  23. Ivan Burrows


    No, the Shia–Sunni Muslim war started 1400 years ago, what is happening in the middle east now is just the latest battle in that war.

    • Marco Bianchi

      The US, the UK and France for sure

    • Michael Michał Gajos

      Then why force refugees on countries like Poland, or Hungary, that never had colonies?

    • Fernando Nabais

      Marco Bianchi US, UK and France, but those who started the war and who fought in the war have no responsibility, is that right?

    • Arnout Posthumus

      force? ever read what they signed up for? it isnt a force if they agreed on it…

      After ww2 we all agreed to help refugees.

      And imo you are not part of the EU I wish to see, if you do not want to help those in need nor accept the democracy that is the EU.

      That doesnt mean that the ones to blame should get it but have fun fighting that battle. A battle we can fight is fixing what is broken.

    • Michael Michał Gajos

      And after WWII some countries signed up to pay for tangible, property damge they did. none of that was realized. We’re at an impasse.

      As for refugees, EU refuses to accept Ukrainians, which we welcome here :>

  24. Barbara Szela Lesniak

    Poland has nothing to do with it. Isn’t it the rich Western Europe countries that got rich because they had colonies there?

    • André Alves Figueiredo

      O don’t think the colonies account for the current wealth of said countries. Germany never had colonies (ok one or two in África but more for Prestige than real economic interest, and for a very short amount of time) and they are the richest country in Europe

    • André Alves Figueiredo

      I don’t think the colonies account for the current wealth of said countries. Germany never had colonies (ok one or two in África but more for Prestige than real economic interest, and for a very short amount of time) and they are the richest country in Europe

    • Barbara Szela Lesniak

      André Alves Figueiredo – Germany never had colonies? :O Sure, Portugal had more – so it’s probably you who should feel responsible for the refugee crisis. As to Germany, well, I’m not going to tell the story of WW 2 and how much Poland suffered – well worth the effort of studying… And here you will find the list of colonies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_colonial_empire

    • Said Chakri

      Isn’t it Poland that is enjoying those Western countries their money? #doublestandards

    • Barbara Szela Lesniak

      Said Chakri Please, study the history of Poland so that you can learn about this business more. If you want to talk about money – I bet you didn’t know that Germany hasn’t paid the II War reparation money to Poland – have you heard anything about it? Probably not. Have you seen photos of Warsaw bombed by the German Nazis?

    • Dionìs KC

      European colonialism in Arab countries lasted 2 decades, in Africa 1 century. There are European countries who have been colonized for centuries.

  25. Fernando Nabais

    So many people commenting on something they have no clue about. If we are talking about the real refugees and not about the illegal migrant crisis and if we are talking about the Syria War, then the west is not entirely innocent as the Obama administration encouraged the rebels. The West may have like 5% of the responsibilities. Of course the main responsibles for the war are the Sunni states who actually started the war and who hired mercenaries to fight in the war.

    • カメニャク マリオ

      Then we can blame the USA for still thinking of Saudi Arabia as their strategic ally. The country with direct ties to vahabism. They are supporting them to a) Get a bit of cheap oil b) Keep Russias oil exports in check.
      But let’s talk realpolitik, is a tiny bit of oil worth it to make such a terrible non-democratic country so powerful?

  26. Anthony Martin

    All started by the Warmongers Tony B’Liar and George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan .

  27. Stefano Ciarrocchi

    Yes and no.
    It is true that, colonialism before, the cold war foreign politic of the capitalistic world and the comunist world on the third one after and the wars in Iraq and Libia after again, unstabilized north Africa and Middle east but even local states, leaders and peoples has a part (probably the bigger one) of the guilt.
    At the same time we must remember that war, terrorism or unrespect of the human rights are only a part of the problem and in the future they are going to be smaller and smaller if comparated to the fact that there is not enought work, food and water in some part of this regions and the peoples of this reagions are going to grow really fast in the future…
    The biggest part of the emergency isn’t arrived yet.

  28. Andrew Potts

    Too glib an answer to blame the West there are many reasons. Yes western interference but it also dates back to Russian involvement in Afghanistan thirty years ago.. A huge factor is Islamic fundamentalism dating to the Mecca siege. Every Islamic government is dealing with those that wish a theocracy and some accommodation with modernity. The rivalry between Iran and Saudi have left the region in flames these factors cause a push. Germanys declaration of all migrants are welcome plus the generous welfare by world standards has created the pull.Even the part of the UN, EU and NGOs promoting migration then throw in the tec of the mobile phone and internet that shows migrants a literal road map. When you throw in Europe.s open borders and European navies collecting migrants from the shores of Libya why would there not be a rush

  29. Jeffery L. Wyss

    No, The “refugees” that are fucking Italy up are not refugees from wars but economic migrants! Actually they parasitic migrants as word spread that if they make it in then nobody will send them back all while they a lot of free stuff. without any obligation to work

  30. Ronny Wouters

    The reason that europe is flooded with migrants is because we have no borders and social security, that’s why we’re magnetic to migrants, they are not refugees. This migrant thing became became valid as refugee thing because Obama acted too late in iraq, supplied ISIS and created an oppurtunity for leftist governments to bring in migrants(validated as war refugees) with the promise, you don’t have to work, you only need to vote for us. What a coincidence? Now Europe is burning with a 1000+ victims due to terror attacks alone. And thousands of yezedi kids were raped to death, nothing to do with climax change, you cannot use a hoax as an argument btw.

    • Ronny Wouters

      Sure, you and me, set the date, we will meetup for drinks in molenbeek, brussels. Dont let me down.

  31. Giacomo Della Rosa

    In part, yes. Irrational liberal interventionism sure did not help fix such a troubled and complex region. Liberal Democracy is not a seed that can be planted everywhere.

  32. Richard Bentley

    I blame Obama and his drive to destabilise the Middle East. All the ‘Arab Springs’, ending of leaderships and promoting the Muslim Brotherhood etc. Think, when did the refugees start to flood the west. And why, after 8 years, was the ending of ISIS no nearer yet, regardless of the Democratic Party trying to discredit him before he started, in 5 months – ISIS is nearly over. Spot the difference. Hmm. Muppet Trump – winner, winner Obama – loser.

    • Christopher bennett

      That’s a load of nonsense

  33. Nick

    Funny, the article gives credit to the images but not the author. Was the article written by AI? Or is the author just shy of the limelight?

  34. Dionìs KC

    Binary thinking antiwesterners:
    1- If those few strong western countries (not all of them have to do with the thing, of course) do not intervene in a conflict where local people mercilessly kill each other, then ALL the western countries are THE CYNICAL CAPITALIST WHO LET INNOCENT PEOPLE DIE AND THINK ONLY ABOUT THEIR INTERESTS (while people killing each other is just fine, they have no responsibility according to the anti-west).
    2- If these FEW western countries do make an intervention there where local people MERCILESSLY KILL EACH OTHER, then ALL WESTERN COUNTRIES are GREEDY IMPERIALISTS WHO INTERVENE ONLY TO EXPAND THEIR INFLUENCE. Seeing their tendency, I guess the anti west people find being a western country to be politically incorrect. I guess antiwestern is a mental dissease.

    Meanwhile refugees find western countries way better and more welcoming than other countries.

    • Grangeon-Amaral George

      Has the UK not been bombing militarily weak countries to “democracy” directly and indirectly (eg arming Saudi) over decades, that profits it’s death industry (seemingly 2nd largest export after EU trade) at the expense of countless deaths and stiffing Europe with an unwanted migrant flood ?

    • Dionìs KC

      First UK is not the whole EU, then the EU is not the whole Europe (but almost, all right to that), and the whole Europe is not the whole West.
      Then I’d like to see how the UK holds responsibility in the above story, anyway.

  35. Grangeon-Amaral George

    I think obviously yes – has the UK not been bombing militarily weak countries to “democracy” directly and indirectly (eg arming Saudi) over decades, that profits it’s death industry (seemingly 2nd largest export after EU trade) at the expense of countless deaths and stiffing Europe with an unwanted migrant flood ?

    • Sandra Wright

      I think the US was behind that one

    • Grangeon-Amaral George

      Sandra Wright you are right the US is to blame as well but this is debating Europe. What I write about the UK is a fact and its despicable

    • Dionìs KC

      First UK is not the whole EU, then the EU is not the whole Europe (but almost, all right to that), and the whole Europe is not the whole West.
      Then I’d like to see how the UK holds responsibility in the above story, anyway.

    • Dionìs KC

      Argentina belongs to western world as well

    • Dionìs KC

      Refugees are fleeing from countries where people kill neighbouring people or.minorities, or from countries.local politicians destroy throuugh corruption. No one is fleeing from countries “being bombed” by the RAF (Royal Air Force).

    • Grangeon-Amaral George

      Dionìs KC seriously ????????
      Who the Hell has been bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia and Syria to “democracy” using the RAF brand and selling weapons to human rights champion Saudi Arabia in the name of the UK ???? Darth Vader ?????

    • Dionìs KC

      Yes, seroiusly. And spoon producers are responsible for making people fat, right? Makes no sense blaming the weapon producers, even less blaming the whole West ; blaming the whole West for the whole countries who have conflicts and poverty even worse- kinda anti west bigotry based on exhageration, hate, ignorance, or non all of them together.
      Who is killing who in Iraq and Syria? Not many Amish soldiers in there. Iraq was ruled by a war criminal, Syiria and Libia have had inner problems.

    • Grangeon-Amaral George

      Further on the UK hipocrysy scale.
      THE UK HAS been bombing militarily weak countries to “democracy” for decades.

      Evidently, as your disgusting “spoon example” …………………. Clearly there seem to be no moral thoughts about the hundreds of thousands killed and the UK death industry welcomes the blood profits but … again the UK is screwing up Europeans with an unwanted migrant flood into Europe.

      PS further on your disgusting spoon example … spons are made to feed, weapons are made to kill …

  36. Sandra Wright

    I think it was the fact that if they sat in a dingy they would be picked up brought to Europe fed and housed.

  37. Jadwiga Wrona

    Młodzi mężczyźni zamiast walczyć o swój kraj uciekli zostawiając rodziny w tym piekle czy tacy zasługuja na jaką kolwiek pomoc? u nas nawet dzieci walczyły jak Niemvcy napadli na Polskę.

    • Ingemar Grahn

      In the dictatorship is Us a bad part in takeing away good people and put there bade one yust so their business can bloome

  38. Dionìs KC

    And spoon producers make people fat, right? Makes no sense blaming the weapon producers for the wars( it is the rest of the murdering maschine, the human holding the gun, that makes the difference), even less blaming the whole West ; blaming the whole West for the whole countries who have conflicts and poverty even worse- kinda anti west bigotry based on exhageration, hate, ignorance, or all of them together.
    Who is killing who in Iraq and Syria? Iraq was ruled by a war criminal, Syiria and Libia have had inner problems.

    Then yes, the United States of America have brought democracy (rule of the people) to many countries. It is just that many people confuse democracy with eternal peace, and have false expectations on foreign armies keeping peace in their country for them (or in other countries). Further, apparently not all countries can deal with democracy, or at least not with sudden democracy, especially those with inner problems, and that is really sad, it is actually in the long run as sad as the beutal wars they could currently have or have had.

    • Dionìs KC

      Francis Kelly, a really “articulated”, “enjoyable” input from your side, you mono-neuronic genius. Zzz-zzz- zz

  39. Stephen Kennedy

    Yes. All driven by the greed of the few. Their greed costs millions of lives and $trillions and these fucks must be punished.

  40. Christofer Catilan

    Western geopolitics is ridiculously naive :-) It causes a lot of unwanted complications and politicians are blatantly reluctant to admit the mess their actions actually produce in that sense.

  41. Peace No War

    yes, I profoundly agree. EU acts as a puppet during US-lead aggression in the middle east.

  42. Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    Yes especially the earlier one. And also the present on how western companies are allowed to do what ever they want outside eu and same goes for the Fisherman

  43. Ingemar Grahn

    The problem is that many of the countries borders are unnatural and made primary by the former Collinal countries. Ant today’s exploitation of Western countries and Fishermans from Western going to Africa and empty the sea. And also the Effekts from the climate change begin do add to it. Mistreated as economics refuges.

  44. Yannick Cornet

    Also climate change may I remind you. Even Macron in his G20 speech clearly understood that everything is connected.

  45. Domien Van Dijck

    Would be good to add other to the debate which are not part of the establishment. Asking only eu military and politicians will most likely give a pretty much on sided debate. Ask some refugees to join, some average citizens,…. a debate is only informative when different perspectives are put forward

  46. Ginster Plantagenet

    absolutely, not only the wars also the delivery of weapons to oppositional groups, even terrorists – its all about gas and oil, yes they are responsible. If there is a ‘revolt’ just follow the money and what do you find? The USA behind it or UK or both or other countries in the West. there is no innocencer there. That’s why they have also no mercy with the refugees. The terrorists were created, f.i. the Taliban could only grow because the US paid them to help them push out the Russians.

  47. Marijana Nevezanić

    they are completly capable to fight without us
    in Syria there is over 20 armies in 4 big allience, it is a tribal war driven by religion

    • Max Berre

      Not sure now much ISIS cares about that. Mostly they just take advantage or Iraq being destabilized and reconstruction falling short. ISIS does not care about your FEELINGS.

    • Marko Martinović

      I was talking about EU. However ISIS cares about feelings, but only their own and are ready to kill for it

  48. Karel Van Isacker

    You can hardly claim that the crisis in Syria is started by its legitimate government, unless you twist and turn the reality. Therefore, Western but especially Saudi geopolitics are root cause to the current mess.

  49. Lynne Warner

    You mean the people who step in where Europe is too mean to help out? Leave it to European socialist leaning leaders and the whole of Africa will move in.

  50. Spyros Zochios

    There are many and different sorts of refugees and we are all well aware of it. Those who come from areas at war undoubtedly need protection. The problem is that one billion from Asia Africa want, are encoureged and in many ways pressed/forced to move to western countries. Only if they learn that Paris has been transformed into Islamaband will they stop migrating to Europe. Poverty and mainly the dictatoric regimes, the depression from the father, older brother, uncle, priest, police and generally an unreconstruced society and any form of obscuratism force the people depart their countries. The question is why they do not change when they are found in the country they selected to make their lives. Religion and not only. And this If we really want to be pragmatists. I have lived in a country where my colleagues earned more money than i did. All of them wanted to leave because, ”it is not life the life i live here, no freedom, no women, no drinks”. It’s a pity but they have to change their destiny.

  51. Matej Mlinarič

    Its so easy to blame one specific decision. Just reality is conflicts that are in Middle East started long before we got involved. Even if we would stop selling arms to allies and let those be. They would continue to kill each other. They would just buy arms somewhere else. As soon as our armies would withdraw opportunity would be seized by those militias that would fight for supremacy. Just like it happened in Iraq. When USA left Iraq there was vacuum of military power and that gave opportunity for ISIS to take control and push out shia Muslims and rest of non-Muslims from that region. Sectarian conflicts are fighting for resources in interest of islamic states. No matter how much anybody objects nobody is really interested to stop doing it. Until all those that are involved in wars want to have peace there will just be war. But that is no excuse to allow importation of their war in our countries with mass immigration.



  52. Sebastian

    Its true to an important extent, but that doesnt mean those atributing it to external factors, islam, population growth, etc… Are wrong, its just those things the west couldnt control, while it could control the interventions, now even this is difficult, as it is hard to oppose the US inside the NATO framework, so id say the lesson to be learned from all this is if europe wants to control its own future it must be self sufficient, i am sure a meeting of the EU27 would not have intervened in libya the way the US did, would not have supplied weapons the way the US did, and would not have provoked the russians in Ukraine the way the US did, and maybe we wouldnt have these refugees, but in any case that cant ve changed, what we neednto do isnlearn from our mistakes andblook at the future

    Self sufficient, united europe in full control of all its Economic, cultural but especially military assets with a European Army, Navy and Airforce is the only hope for world peace

  53. Lúcás Ó Domhnaill

    America is responsible and Europe have to pick up the pieces. America has destroyed these country’s so they can’t live there anymore.

  54. Ivan Burrows

    The Brussels crazed drive to create a united states of Europe as created the ‘migrant’ crisis. Does ‘One People, One Nation, One Leader!’ sound familiar ? Europeans have learnt nothing from their history and are destined to repeat it. Thank god we are leaving the EU dictatorship. :)

  55. Matthew Wolfbane

    Who’s responsible for the people at Debating Europe constantly recycling the exact same articles for months at end, and who’s paying them?

    • Dee O'brien

      Its says it’s an NGO,but I have my doubts as it seems to be a propaganda page for the EU to make you think you have some kind of say in things….

  56. Paweł Kunio

    If You tend to look at failed afghanistan and libya cases and listen to angry muslim voices you might tend to stick to this cheap argument. For a change look at iraq and syria managing war nicely. Its failed Mackarel who opened gates to hell and she and her club should pay for this mess.

  57. Dionìs KC

    People who hate and discriminate and kill are to blame. You can’t blame cuttlery producers for the obesity in the world , just saying.

    • Dionìs KC

      This western politics blames belong to the same matrix with thoughts such as “western people are to be blamed”, “western people are to be punished” and other anti-western propaganda.

  58. Satsuma Angel

    To some extent yes. For too long have brutal dictators being propped up and supported with weapons for ‘ strategic reasons’. The people in those countries are paying the price

  59. randomguy2017

    List of reason for mass immigration/refugee crisis (in order):

    1)Wars, interventionism, coups
    2)People who let them in.

    USA is the biggest cause of it. The EU is also guilty.

    USA is the most dangerous nation and the biggest warmonger and interventionist since the end of WW2.

    EU is like a puppet and goes along with it. Several EU countries bombed Libya in the name of “democracy” and “human rights”.

    For me Neoconservativism and Interventionist Liberalism are evil.

  60. Ginster Plantagenet

    yes indeed, the US interests, their geo politics and their influence on agricultural development in Africa and Soutamerica, ruin existences and land

  61. Oli Lau

    is there a tragedy that Western people won’t be blamed for in this world?

  62. Vytautas Vėžys

    “”There are millions of blacks who could come to the Mediterranean to cross to France and Italy, and Libya plays a role in security in the Mediterranean.””
    – Muammar Gaddafi, 2011

  63. Ivan Burrows

    Given most of them are migrants from Africa and not refugees from the middle east the actions of the west has had a very limited impact on the movements of people. There is only one institution to blame for the invasion & that is the EU.

    • Christopher bennett

      Invasion what are they coming in with tanks,plans,rockets,machine guns
      Oh please

  64. Αναγέννηση

    Its the British – Turkish alliance in Cyprus against the Americans since 1950 , that is responsible for the refugee crisis, since the British – Turkish alliance in Cyprus against the Americans with British – Turkish hostility with the Turkish military threats against the EU to the ascension of Cyprus into the European Union on May 1 2004 countered by French led EU military threats on Turkey , provoked the Bush Administration into committing the world biggest Foreign Policy military debacle in Iraq, which American Pentagon officials admitted the world has not see since the Trojan War, that resulted in the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein Baathist Regime , without creating a Sovereign Federation Nation State of Kurdistan stretching from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean that would act as a Buttress against illegal immigration to the EU.

    • Ivan Burrows

      Funny that you blame everyone else for your problems, do you need a safe space by any chance ? lol

    • Αναγέννηση

      Ivan they are undeniable truths . We want €600 billion in damages compensation from the British State via the Bank of England and the treasury as fitting compensation for the British Crimes against the Greek state from 1967 till the present that resulted in the current economic situation in Greece , all a result of when the British State through the British Monarchy requested from Prince Phillips cousin in Greece – the foolish former Greek monarch Constantine to establish a Military Junta in Greece in 1967 , that was later postponed till 1974 whcih was all part of the British designs in Cyprus against the United States which had begun in 1950 , when the Americans initiated a campaign to expel British Military forces from Cyprus , whcih was countered by the British through a alliance with Turkey against the United States that was solidified in 1974 with the British State Sponsored Turkish Military invasion and occupation of EU member Cyprus since 19764 that has provided the British Military forces in Cyprus a security advantage against American efforts to expel the British from Cyprus and to be replaced with establishment of American military bases in Cyprus

  65. Lynne Warner

    Given that most liberals with bleeding hearts only want to rescue the “persecuted”, (not that they know the difference about who is persecuted and who is not) would just sit by and welcome all and sundry into the West, I expect they will all nod wisely and blame those who have tried to stop mass genocide in these barbaric countries. They cry if we sit back and watch, bitch if we try to help and turn a blind eye to dictatorships as long as they keep the killing to the odd 25000 or so.

    • Galina Dimitrova Valcheva

      Now everyone is on the queue to kiss their ass. They can be anything they want, as they have western Europe and USA support for it.

  66. Rui David

    The Iraq invasion which started the second world war, still going on, is, by far the main cause of this crisis. Caused by nothing else but western nations alleged geopolitical issues.

  67. Galina Dimitrova Valcheva

    Ask grandma Merkel, who’s never going to be a biological one, as she invited them all to come! But the problem is that they don’t just go and stay there. There all over now! And btw, they are economical immigrants, refugee is something different.

    • Alfonso Martìnez Montoya

      Like all the inmigrants from the east of Europe and slavs countries that we have in Spain? And many of them are just criminals, should we kick them out of our country?
      You are just racist, xenofobic
      and disgusting!
      And a fucking inmigrant yourself!
      Hope they treat you like you deserve!

  68. Neven Markulin

    Its USA foreign policy with Soros financial support to make chaos and destabilize Europe countries.

  69. Pedro Mendes

    Absolutely. Or do you think all those Syrians just want to leave the country their were born and have their entire life possessions? When we stop playing games with North Africa and Middle East politics, then we will finally be able to say we strive for peace. So far, we strive for war.

  70. Franck Legon

    Not at all, african and mid-eastern countries unresponsible demography and social inequity are.

  71. Andrew Potts

    Wealth, just as people move from poor rural areas to richer urban areas. In the world of the mobile phone the poorest people can now see richer lands far away. Then there is the push of badly run countries and oppressive ideology. There is the push of religious evangelism, go conquer the world. There is also a cultural destruction run by a intellectual elite who suffer others to live by their God Complex flawed dreams. A business class who love cheap labour or cherry picked skills for their profit. Plus rich lobby groups who throw money at a narrow undemocratic social experiment. As you said at the start it’s complex. But the small indigenous nations of Europe will soon not exist. Maybe another 15 years.

  72. Marco Bianchi

    The question should be a little bit more specific: is NATO’s geopolitics to blame for the refugee crisis?
    And the answer is yes! Absolutely! And this is just a further reason to quit NATO!

  73. Marcos Carvalho

    Most certainly. More on the USA side for decades of meddling in affairs completely outside their “responsability”, but european countries and UN are also accountable for! No doubt

  74. Tchoum Xav

    Escaping Boko Haram or ISIS, means escaping the influence of petrodollars spent by Saudis to spread Wahabism…

    • Eugene Shapovalove

      Which is spreading as quickly in europe, named salafia and with the same sponsorship.

  75. Christine Harris

    Boom/bust interventionism which serves the corporate kleptocracy is to blame. Wall Street needs Glass Steagall 2.0!

  76. George Ferentinos

    Most of the refugees come from countries destroyed be the west!!Irak, Syria, Afganistan, Lybia etc!!what more evidence you need!!!

  77. Taline Babikian Angelidou

    Not really…it is the lack of economic reforms…lack of social reforms that..saying that…the refugee crisis of the last years have been caused by the west..

  78. Matej Mlinarič

    Its so convenient to just blame the west for all troubles there. But in reality wars in Middle East are competition for resources and ideological supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran with allies on both sides. Only way to stop this kind of conflicts is to find cheap alternative energy source that can be massively produced. Just those countries producing and exporting fossil fuels would have to diversify their economies or economic collapse would be inevitable once fossil fuels are no longer needed. Without those 2 trying to destroy each other for decades there would be no interest to export weaponry in that region. There was no peace in Middle East for more then a century. Just reason that those came in our countries is not because of those wars. But because you openly invited them in and supplied them with transportation, goods and capital. You have chosen to ignore your own laws and now want to blame anything else but yourselves. All the misery that western world has suffered because of that decision is completely on politicians that blindly support mass immigration. Political shift and total mistrust of EU is your own doing. Now such are so desperate that would rather lock up their own populations for unwanted opinions than it is address your own mess. Yet you need to wonder why some countries want to leave EU.



    So instead of importing foreign masses just establish secure zones closer to conflicts and bring basic supplies there. Cause it would be much cheaper and none of our populations would need to care on what happens in Middle East. Least of all would be our concern, if Saudi Arabia and Iran want to destroy each other. Just to be realistic there will be no peace until those 2 actually want it. So its either proxy wars with financing and arming of islamist militias or direct military conflict that will determine geopolitical influences in Middle East. Just the reason that west is involved is no mystery to anybody. Every country needs energy to sustain their economies and therefore have no other choice than pick a side and protect their investment. Which ever country controls exports from Middle East of fossil fuels get to influence other countries that require those resources.




  79. John Marcogliese

    No. The main cause is the failure of the Arab Spring and the spread of radical groups. Many countries have become failed stated. The difference now is that Europe is making it much easier to get in.

    • Lino Galveias

      all funded by western oil and interests…. who messed up with Iran and Iraq and etc?

    • Vicente Silva Tavares

      Are you referring the war started by Sadam Hussein (Sunni) when he invaded Iran? Or are you referring the war started by Sadam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait? Or may be you are refferring the war in Syria when Saudi Arabia and the oil Gulf monarchies supplied all Sunni rebellion groups against the Shia Government. Or…

  80. João Roque

    This comes from the narcisistic western view of the world where the world is dependent of us and everything good or bad is our fault. The reality is probably closer to the inevitability of ear being precipitated by the lack of support of regional leaders.

  81. Georg Blaha

    Yes. So what? Is there a geopolitics in the first place pursued by Europe? I doubt that. Putting the blame on your most despised politician will make no change. Adding to the comfortable morality of self induced bad conscience will help neither. Acting in the interest of one or several states is the business of politicians and power. Those countries bargaining with Europe have their own interests as well, let’s not forget that. We are undergoing a test of how serious we, Europe, are taking the challenges we pledged to prepare for aka Human Rights. We did not. Blaming, if you will, geopolitics I find wrong. To me it seems that the fear of making a bad impression in your local news is the reason for foregoing a decisive and concerted foreign policy of Europe.

  82. Katerina Mpakirtzi

    Russian and Usa geopolitics fights for oil…
    Europe just pays the sequence of theirs war.. million of refugees emigrants and moneys

    • Iulian Ionita

      Mário Lobo , promoted by Barack Obama

  83. Daniel Parvanov

    do not forget Hilary Clinton was a progressive warmonger… You can blame hers We came… We saw… He dies … about Gaddafi less than decade after he surrender Libya WMD program in exchange to peace… for current North Korea development… and lack of options as no one can guarantee it leader he not end the same way…

  84. Lynne Warner

    These countries are continually warring against themselves over religion. Let them sort their own crap out and don’t bring their internal affairs to the West.

  85. Ivan Burrows

    – Could you please stop calling them refugee’s, even the unelected European Politburo accepts they are mostly financial migrants looking for free handouts.. – No, Idiotic EU policies and Mad Mama Merkel are responsible for the ‘migrant’ crisis.

  86. Todor Borissov

    The question is a joke irrespective whether it is asked seriously.
    Western world is controlling the lives of arabs and other ethnic groups for centuries with no legal grounds for that.

    • Ivan Burrows

      1. They have been fighting the same religious war for 1400 years and nothing the west has done as made a blind bit of difference to that war.. 2. The West does have the ‘legal’ right to defend itself from the Middle East’s medieval ideology.

    • Todor Borissov

      Maybe we fought against the future terrorism through several famines in the first part of the 20th century. And maybe you will point out the legal grounds for at least one military intervention in the last 30 years?
      Or maybe you missgather that most of the terrorism in Europe is on the account of descendants of the former colonies of European countries. Where we performed so well, we are still loved.

  87. Emrah Can

    Yew but not only . Sinds first gulf war in 1991 and all military interventions in middle east , 4 millions people died in this region . 4 millions of deaths ! After that , we can not just be shocked to see radicalization and violence coming from there . We supported and still dictatorships in middle east for many years for our interests . Usa and Europe sell weapons to dictatorships that oppress their people . ( Saudi Arabia Egypt for example ) . We talk about human rights , women s right bla bla but we have very good relations with countriew like Qatar or Saudi Arabia or Egypt .

  88. Matej Mlinarič

    Those would still want to kill each other whether we would be involved or not. So no the only reason that we got this mess for mass immigration is because you decided to let in millions by ignoring your own laws. EU is not going to just push blame on someone else for this. If you don’t want to fix your own mistake then nobody will trust you with anything anymore. Choice is yours. Only thing that is expected for our allies is to respect our geopolitical interests and especially protection of petrodollar. Just this arrangement is hardly one sided and it is what allowed those Arab countries to get so rich in first place.


    • Luis Terra

      Catalonia is free. You’re free to fight for an independent isolated and poor Catalonia.

    • Mauricio Giordanelli

      Not only is Catalonia free, Spain was created by an invading army that included the Catalan army and proceeded to massacre people in the rest of the peninsula, so spare us your BS.

  89. Paul Vincent

    No, islamic schism is reponsible .but the west have proved incapable of resolving it….if you accept they have any responsibility

    • Mauricio Giordanelli

      Troll. You know? Leave Spain, fine. Only Spain cares about that. However, that means you’re out of the EU for good. Good riddance.

  90. Michele Marco Paolella

    Do not forget that American and European corporations move entire African countries as they are pleased because they have money and they enslave people like old colonies did. Then we have wars brought by Americans and blood call blood

    • Nawid Zabihi

      Can you give me a clue where to read about this ?

    • Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

      Nope but how The Dublin order Was set upp in The först plase. It is doomed.to fail due to that Only a few is supposed to take in refugrees.

  91. Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    Yes espessely is This an aftermath from The former colonies and how their bordet is drawn. But also due to we letting many extremism running The countries from The 70th. USA have also a bit role in This. And The close border that Was from The W W 1 due to to mutch nationalism

  92. Vicente Silva Tavares

    Arab Spring, a revolt against dictatorship and economic underdevelopment, the war between Shias and Sunnis subsidized by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies, and a failure of the economic system.

  93. samunderkerang

    It’s nothing new greedy white men have been invading poor nations for gold, diamonds, rubber, coffee, minerals, spice, oil etc and last they will come for water. White men support dictators and militias, they destroy democracies and now that colonial snake is going bite them back.

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