Refugee Movements from Turkey to the European Union after 2015 – the Assessment of Impact

  • Aitolgon Boronbaeva Master Degree Graduate in International Relations University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Keywords: Refugee, Asylum Seeker, Migration Crisis, European Union, UNHCR


Suddenly in 2015, huge number of people started to arrive in European Union applying for asylum from Middle East countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as Turkey. Turkey has become the main gateway for the people, who seek to reach European countries, originating migration crisis in the region. Indeed, the EU has been one of the main attractive destination in search of international protection, freedom, democracy and peace for them. They have forced to flee their home countries due to war, armed conflicts, political persecution and human rights violations. This dramatic level of refugee movements has brought about great challenges for European Union and its member states, which the EU had to give adequate response. Previous relevant policies hadn’t been established to manage with rapid change and wasn’t adequate in order to deal with such as great influx of refugees. While, EU started to cope with newcomers, by establishing or improving asylum policies and legal frameworks, the unprecedented level of refugee movements has brought comprehensive impact on particularly in three areas such as political, social and economic on EU since 2015. The main objective of this paper is to assess the impact of refugee movements to the EU as a whole since 2015 until the present time from three different areas such as political, economic and social, by using qualitative single case study analysis.


Amnesty International UK. (2018). The Aftermath of the Failed Turkey Coup: Torture, Beatings and Rape. Amnesty International UK.

BBC News (2017). Turkey’s Coup Attempt-In Numbers. BBC News.

BBC News. (2015, August 31). Migrant Crisis: Merkel warns of EU “failure”. BBC News.

BBC News. (2016). Migrant Crisis: EU-Turkey Deal Comes into Effect. BBC News.

BBC News. (2016). Syria: The Story of the Conflict. BBC News.

BBC News. (2016, March 20). Migrant Crisis: EU-Turkey Deal Comes into Effect. BBC News.

BBC News. (2016, May 26). Who are the Taliban? BBC News.

Bauböck, R. (2017). Refugee Protection and Burden-sharing in the European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies 56, 141–56.

Betts, A. (2009). Forced Migration and Global Politics. Wiley-Blackwell.

Bodewig, C. (2015). Is the Refugee Crisis an Opportunity for an Aging Europe? Brookings.

Cellai, E. (2016). The Economic Impact of Migrants and Refugees: Burden and Benefit. Iversity (blog).

Clarke, J. (2017). German Elections 2017: Full Results. The Guardian.

Collet, E., and Camille, L. C. (2018). After the Storm: Learning from the EU Response to the Migration Crisis. Migration Policy Institute. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/2nd%20chapter%20BA/EUCrisisResponse_FINALWEB.pdf.

Connor, P. (2017). European Asylum Applications Remained Near Record Levels in 2016. Pew Research Center.

Cowburn, A. (2016). Migration Crisis Can Destroy Europe, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls Says. The Independent.

Debating Europe. (2018). Are Refugees the Solution to Europe’s Ageing Population. Debating Europe.

Dempsay, J. (2015). Judy Asks: Will the Refugee Crisis Destroy the EU? Carnegie Europe.

Desilver, D. (2015). Refugee Surge Brings Youth to an Aging Europe. Pew Research Center.

Devichand, M. (2016). Did Alan Kurdi’s Death Change Anything. BBC News.

Dobler, S. (2018). Statistics on the European Migration Crisis and Criminality. Abrupt Earth Changes.

Dullen, S. (2016). Paying the Price: The Cost of Europe’s Refugee Crisis. London: European Council on Foreign Relations.

Dullen, S. (2016). Paying the Price: The Cost of Europe’s Refugee Crisis. European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Ellyatt, H. (2015). Migrants Could Help Solve Europe’s Aging Problem. CNBC.

European Commission. (2017). The EU and The Migration Crisis. European Commission.

Eurostat. (2017). A Look at the Lives of the Elderly in the EU today. Eurostat.

Eurostat. (2018). Record High Old-Age Dependancy Ratio in the EU. Eurostat.

Eurostat. (2019). Asylum Statistics. Eurostat.

Eurostat. (2019). Asylum statistics: Asylum Applications (non-EU) in the EU -28 Member States, 2008-2018. Eurostat.

Fourquet, J. (n.d.). European Reactions to the Migration Crisis. Foundation Jean Jaures.

Goldberg, M. L. (2018). EU Releases Facts and Figures for Migrant and Refugees Arrivals in 2018. UN Dispatch.

Gosse, T. G., and Hetnarowicz, J. (2016). The Discourse of Solidarity and the European Migration Crisis. Yearbook of Polish European Studies, 19(2016), 35-61.

Hübl, F., Cvetojevic, S., Hochmair, H., & Paulus, G. (2017). Analyzing Refugee Migration Patterns Using Geo-tagged Tweets. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 6(10), 302.

Kancs, D., and Lecca, P. (2017). Long-term Social, Economic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration into the EU: The Role of the Integration Policy: JRC Working Papers in Economics and Finance. Publications Office of the European Union.

Kerr, S. P., and Kerr, W. R. (2011). Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Lemmens, P., Dupont, H., Roosen, I. (2017). Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees: An Overview of the Literature relating to Drug Use and Access to Services. European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Morris, C. (2016). EU-Turkey Migrant Deal: A Herculean Task. BBC News.

NATO. (2017). Challenges and Opportunities Across Nato’s Greater South. Nato.

News European Parliament. (2017). The EU Response to the Migrant Crisis. News European Parliament.

Nicolas, L. (2018). Unknown Turkish Refugee Crisis. BESA. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/turkish%20refugee/993-The-Unknown-Turkish-Refugee-Crisis-Lampas-final.pdf.

Niemann A., and Zaun, N. (2018). EU Refugee Policies and Politics in Times of Crisis: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives. Journal of Common Market Studies 56, 3–22.

OECD. (2011). Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Sweden 2011. OECD Publishing.

OECD. (2014). Matching Economic Migration with Labor Market Needs in Europe. OECD Publishing Economic Impacts of Immigration. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/OECD-EC%20Migration%20Policy%20Brief%20Sept2014-EN.pdf.

Phipps, C. (2016). Attempted Coup in Turkey: What We Know So Far. The Guardian.

Poddar, S. (2016). European Migrant Crisis: Financial Burden or Economic Opportunity? Social Impact Research Experience.

Popescu, A. (2016). The EU “Costs” of the Refugee Crisis. Europolicy – Continuity and Change in European Governance. Scoala Nationala de Studii Politice si Administrative (SNSPA) 10, 105-120.

Postelnicescu, C. (2016). Europe’s New Identity: The Refugee Crisis and the Rise of Nationalism. Europe’s Journal of Psychology 12(2), 203-209. doi: 10.5964/ejop.v12i2.1191.

Poushter, J. (2016). European Opinions of the Refugee Crisis in 5 Charts. Pew Research Center.

Scott, L. (2016). Beginner’s Guide to Syria’s Civil War. SAGE Journals 7, 12-15.

Slominski, P., and Trauner, F. (2017). How Do Member States Return Unwanted Migrants? The Strategic (non)use of “Europe” During the Migration Crisis. Journal of Common Market Studies 56, 101.

Sofia. (1999). The Economic and Social Impact of Refugees on the Host Country: Bulgaria. Institute for Market Economics.

Spindler, W. (2015). 2015: The Year of Europe’s Refugee Crisis. UNHCR.

Steinmayr, A. (2017). Did the refugee crisis contribute to the recent rise of far right parties in Europe. Ifo DICE Report.

Toygur, I., and Benvenuti, B. (2016). The European Response to Refugee Crisis: Angela Merkel on the Move. Istanbul Policy Center. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/2nd%20chapter%20BA/IlkeToygur_BiancaBenvenuti_FINAL.pdf.

UN General Assembly. (1950). United Nations Draft Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. (Res 429(V)). UN General Assembly.

UNHCR Turkey. (n.d.). Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Turkey. UNHCR. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from

UNHCR. (2011). The Role of Host Countries: The Cost and Impact of Hosting Refugees. UNHCR. standcom/4de4f7959/role-host-countriescost-impact-hosting-refugees.html.

UNHCR. (2015). Asylum Levels and Trends 2014. UNHCR.

UNHCR. (2015). Mid-Year Trends 2015. UNHCR. 2015.

UNHCR. (2015). UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres - Written text of speech to the UN Security Council - 26 February 2015 [Press release].

UNHCR. (2021). Refugee Data Finder. UNHCR.

UNHCR. (n.d.). Afghanistan. UNHCR. Retrieved December 11, 2021, from

UNHCR. (n.d.). What is the Refugee? UNHCR. Retrieved December 10, 2021, from

Wike, R., Stokes, B., Simmons, K. (2016). Europeans Fear Wave of Refugees Will Mean More Terrorism, Fewer Jobs. Pew Research Center.

Zaun, N. (2017). States as Gatekeepers in EU Asylum Politics: Explaining the Non-adoption of a Refugee Quota System. Journal of Common Market Studies 56, 44–62.

Heinz-Peter, B. (2015). Austrian Far-Right Party Gets Electoral Boost from Migrant Crisis. Reuters.

Dustmann, C., and Joseph-Simon, G. (2015). The Economics of Temporary Migrations. SOEP.

Peri, G. (2010). The Impact of Immigrants in Recession and Economic Expansion. Migration Policy Institute. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/Peri-June2010.pdf.

Aiyar, and et al. (2016). The Refugee Surge in Europe: Economic Challenges. IMF Staff Discussion.

Ellyatt, H. (2015). Migrants Could Help Solve Europe’s Aging Problem. CNBC.

Stephane, M. O. (2017). The Refugee Crisis: Effects and Challenges. (Master Thesis, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa). Universidade Catolica Portuguesa. file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/3rd%20chapter%20sources/TFM_MarianaStephane.pdf.

How to Cite
Boronbaeva, A. (2022). Refugee Movements from Turkey to the European Union after 2015 – the Assessment of Impact. International Journal of Social Science Research and Review, 5(5), 322-333.