One Million People Expected To Arrive In Germany This Year Amid World's Worst Refugee Crisis

Photo: Maja Hitij/AFP/Getty Images.
Refugees walk down the stairs after arriving at the main railway station in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 13.
One million — that is the number of refugees and migrants Germany expects to cross into its border this year. That's 200,000 more people than the country's interior ministry last predicted and is about 1.25% of Germany's current population.

The increase in people expected to make their way to Germany demonstrates the severity of Europe's refugee crisis, the worst since World War II. It's also the reason Germany's government is calling on other European countries to step up and help shelter these people.

"Germany, even if we are prepared to provide disproportionate assistance, cannot accommodate all of the refugees alone," Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel wrote in a letter to his Social Democratic Party, according to the Associated Press.
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Germany, even if we are prepared to provide disproportionate assistance, cannot accommodate all of the refugees alone.

Sigmar Gabriel, German vice chancellor
Thirteen thousand people seeking asylum arrived in Munich this past Saturday, Al Jazeera reported. The following day, police stopped a record-breaking 5,800 people in neighboring Hungary, according to the AP.

Most of the refugees and migrants who cross into Germany arrive from Hungary and Austria. On Sunday, Germany began imposing identity checks on those seeking asylum there, halting train traffic from Austria for a 12-hour period extending into early Monday morning.

Germany has maintained an open-door policy for Syrian refugees since it suspended the Dublin Regulation — a procedure for deciding which European Union member country is responsible for accepting asylum seekers — earlier this month. By controlling who may enter in this way, Germany is effectively reversing that openness.

This afternoon, European Union Internal Affairs ministers will meet in an emergency session in Brussels to discuss the changes.

"The temporary reintroduction of border controls between Member States is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation," the European Commission said in a statement on Sunday. "The current situation in Germany, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules."

In anticipation of the meeting, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged the EU take a cohesive approach.

The combination of different, individual measures might create a situation where large numbers of refugees...will find themselves moving around in legal limbo.

Office of the The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
"UNHCR is concerned that the combination of different, individual measures might create a situation where large numbers of refugees seeking in Europe the protection they are entitled to…will find themselves moving around in legal limbo," a UNHCR spokesperson told Refinery29 via email.

In his most recent state-of-the-union address, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, announced a plan to relocate 120,000 asylum-seekers in Italy, Greece, and Hungary.

The New York Times reported intense resistance to this plan from Eastern European countries including Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As evidenced by this weekend's events, Germany is unable to handle such numbers alone.

The United States plans to take in just 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016, a number that has drawn criticism from many who believe the U.S. should step up to help more.

David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, called President Obama's decision "cold comfort to the victims of the Syrian conflict."
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