The refugee crisis acted for all the Member States, and the European Union as such, as an indicator of the structural stress the European construction can endure. We have seen in the same both the worst and the best of European ideals put into practice.
This crisis had also a similar effect on the Romanian political landscape as it made us reevaluate our own values and ideals and have exposed our fears as well as dreams. We have assisted to the increase of the lack of confidence of citizens in the state and European institutions given the sometimes more than chaotic approach of the refugee crisis and there are fears that this could favor the anti-European political parties and movements. This is obvious if we take into consideration the dramatic increase of the percentage of Romanians who are against receiving refugees in Romania: from 52.6% in September 2015 to more than 75.8% in December 2015.
Currently Romania received on March 3rd 2016 its first 15 refugees that are going to stay in the Galați Refugee Centre. It is a small number that currently corresponds with the housing capacity available of approx. 1 500 places.
The situation is for the time being contained as the upcoming elections and internal debates seem to have taken out from the public agenda the refugee crisis. Moreover the opinion polls suggest a clear victory of the main political parties (PSD and PNL) who have so far adopted a moderated tone regarding the refugee crisis.
Another plus registered in the last couple of months is an increase of the number of debates tackling the refugee crisis, that try to offer to a wider audience more information about the topic and the things that need to be done by us as a society.
The full paper is available online here.