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Kosovo's governing coalition may not survive exodus

Monday, March 9, 2015

Subject

The mass exodus from Kosovo to the EU.

Significance

People started leaving in September last year and numbers have steadily mounted: 23,000 were recorded in the first six weeks of 2015, but the total may be as high as 100,000, from a country of 2 million. Most Kosovars cannot get visas to the EU, so instead enter illegally through a weak point in the Serbian/Hungarian border, before claiming asylum. Their arrival in thousands has provoked a popular backlash in Hungary and a harsh reaction from the governments in Germany and Austria, which are the ultimate destinations for most of the migrants.

Impacts

  • Inflows of illegal migrants from Kosovo will fuel anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany, Austria and Hungary.
  • Pristina will come under political pressure to control its borders and ameliorate conditions of life for ordinary people.
  • The EU will be forced to rethink its strategy towards Kosovo.
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