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Besnek, a migrant from Albania, holds his son Enek, 6, as he and others wait to register at the Central Registration Office for Asylum Seekers (Zentrale Aufnahmestelle fuer Fluechtlinge, or ZAA) of the State Office for Health and Social Services (Landesamt fuer Gesundheit und Soziales, or LAGeSo), which is the registration office for refugees and migrants arriving in Berlin who are seeking asylum in Germany, on March 11, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Restricting migrants will stress economies of southeastern Europe.

A Burden on the Balkans

January 2016, Number 07.01

“The current refugee and illegal migrant crisisin Europe has taken several years to boil to surface. As European Union governments struggle to accept and relocate refugees, their attention seems to be shortsightedly focused on the immediate issue of how this crisis is affecting EU countries. Unfortunately, the situation is much larger than just the EU. As member states and other European countries clamp down on accepting asylum seekers and refugees, they trap refugees and illegal migrants in entry and transit countries. Based on current migration patterns, this will be most severely felt in the Western Balkans and could have serious unintended consequences for Europe in the form of a second wave of refugees. What is needed is a holistic and proactive approach to understanding and resolving this challenge.

If European leaders and policymakers fail to appreciate and take preventive measures to deal with this crisis, it has the potential to destabilize the entire Western Balkan region. The results could prompt a second and larger wave of asylum seekers, including a large number of Western Balkan nationals…”

Excerpt from Valbona Zeneli and Joespeh Vann, “A Burden on the Balkans,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 7, No. 1, 2016: 60-63.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.