Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Hilary Appel

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© 2016 Graham E. McMillan


International attention on the plight of Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Europe has brought into question the long term efficacy of the European Union. Patchwork policy requirements set down by the European Council have disproportionately spread the economic and political strain of historically high levels of incoming asylum-seekers to member states at the external border of the Union. Italy and Greece specifically have been handed the administrative responsibility of the current inflows of people despite both nations having fundamentally fragile economies, recent histories of anti-immigration policy, and a complete inability to adequately combat the humanitarian aspects of this crisis. The severity of the situation has garnered calls to end the Schengen area and other nationalist policies, but in order to properly embrace its role as a beacon of opportunity for those seeking to escape persecution, the EU must coordinate to create a more comprehensive and fair institution to combat smuggling and encourage legal channels for asylum-seekers.

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