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A flow within the flow: dynamics of 2015 and post-2015 migration from the Western Balkans to EU countries

By ZOPPI M

Abstract

This article focuses on the recent flow of asylum seekers from the Western Balkans to EU countries. It contends that the comparison with statistics of other extra-EU28 asylum seekers and migrants reveals specific features that justify the description of mobility from the Western Balkans as a distinct \u201cflow within the flow\u201d. In fact, such a flow was not rooted in humanitarian issues, but was rather part of the established labor mobility dynamics in the region. In this sense, mobility from the area is not understood as a new trend but in terms of continuity stemming from the economic system interconnecting the EU and its neighborhood, of which the Balkans are a part. The pivotal year for the analysis is identified as 2015, when mass migration flows transited along the \u201cBalkan Route\u201d in their quest to reach the central and northern countries of the continent. The author concludes that, although on a larger scale, the 2015 flows that originated from the Western Balkan countries are the outgrowth of ongoing relations, especially for what concerns labor market dynamics between the two neighboring regions. This article features some data and maps elaborated in the framework of activities for the targeted analysis \u201cMIGRATUP \u2013 Territorial and Urban Potentials Connected to Migration and Refugee Flows\u201d, financed by ESPON, which ran from July 2017 to July 2018

Topics: migration flows, Western Balkans, European Union, asylum seekers, Balkan Route
Publisher: 'Brill'
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.1163/18763332-04301003
OAI identifier: oai:cris.unibo.it:11585/701926
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