Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Kimberly Gamble-Payne


Mediterranean Crisis, Refugees, Migrants, Migrant Crisis


A massive European immigration crisis began in 2015, resulting in over a million people flooding into Europe, fleeing conflict and economic desperation. European countries felt threatened by this sudden influx of people who either looked different or practiced different religions, and this caused a major backlash in these predominantly Christian countries. Anti-immigrant fever has changed the political environment in Europe and as a result, most EU policies today focus on preventing migrants from reaching European borders. In this thesis, I argue that the paucity of knowledge and lack of preliminary communication and pre-warning on the scale of the Mediterranean crisis by the European Union, led to poor planning and a tremendous suffering and waste of lives in the region. During 2015 and continuing today, Europeans have not perceived the difference between refugees and migrants and they fear that this huge influx of people will seek work and assistance in Europe and will never go home. Unfortunately, discrimination based on race, religion, and even nationality seems to have grown among many European countries since 2015, when, according to reports by UNHCR, more than one million refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea. The European Union has failed its obligations under International and European human rights law in response to the Mediterranean crisis, and it must stop its discriminatory policies towards migrants.



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