The migration crisis that has been central to the European political drama since 2014 is rapidly changing. You can see signs of change everywhere, from subtle intensifications of bureaucratic language to an increasing frankness about what the migration crisis has done to Europe’s nations and societies. It also shows up in the numbers. The overall rate of migration into Europe is starting to decline, but the number of migrants who are dying in their attempt is going up. But you can see it most of all in the willingness of European leaders to tell the truth.
Just in the past ten days, you can see a shift. European Council president Donald Tusk admitted that most of the people coming in have no right to do so: “In most of the cases, and that is actually the case on the central Mediterranean route, we’re talking clearly and manifestly about economic migrants.” He added, “They get to Europe illegally, they do not have any documents which would allow them to enter the European soil.” In other words, these primarily aren’t refugees fleeing war, they’re economic migrants, who are coming in to countries along the southern Mediterranean that already suffer massive unemployment.