Asylum Seekers in Europe and Cyprus: Exodus, Reception, Exclusion

Principal Investigators: N. Peristianis, N. Habib, M. Shianis

Aims and Objectives​

This study is divided into two parts. In the first part it considers the changing diachronic patterns of migration into Europe and the recent massive exodus of refugees after 2015, linking these to the increasing economic, political and environmental strains in Africa and Asia. A particular focus is the Mediterranean, as the sea hurdle the refugees have to overcome to reach Europe; and the Balkans as the route to the more prosperous, stable and peaceful destinations aimed for in northern Europe.

The second part of the study considers the eastern Mediterranean triangle of Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, focusing primarily on the latter. Why have these three gained in importance over the years? How are the respective states handling the increased refugee pressures, given their own problem ridden relationships? And how has the European Union dealt with the problem of the increased numbers of asylum seekers coming to these areas and the simultaneous frictions among these three states?

The Republic of Cyprus has experienced significant issues with population displacements and exchanges within the island after the clashes of 1974, resulting in vivid experiences with internal refugees. How have these experiences impacted the reception of external refugees or asylum seekers in the last few decades?

The study will look at the reactions and policies of the state, as well as the attitudes of the media, and of the people of Cyprus themselves. It will also seek the views and experiences of asylum seekers themselves - why they decided to come to Cyprus, how they were received and accommodated, and what their plans for the future are, considering that the island is located at the margins of Europe.