the political, social and economic impact of the syrian refugee crisis on germany

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The Political, Social and Economic Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Germany

The Political, Social and Economic Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on GermanyJill TarantiniMBA 592Summer 2016

AgendaBackgroundPolitical ImpactSocial ImpactEconomic ImpactOpportunities and ChallengesConclusionReferences

BackgroundSyrian Civil WarWar on governmentPresident Bashar al-Assad: DictatorPro-democracy protestsEconomic and political sanctionsWar on religionSunni MuslimShiite MuslimEthno-religious minoritiesProxy WarIranian - Saudi WarRussian - American WarHezbollah v. Future Movement

BBC News, 2016

People hold onto religious fights longer than battles over land and water. It becomes existential and related to belief in a higher callingNicole Bibbins Sedaca, as cited in Burke, 2013

As a strong, economically healthy country we have the strength to do what is necessaryAngela Merkel, as cited in Angerer, 2015

Political ImpactLack of organization and confidence in German government and infrastructureQuestioning of Merkels policiesPopularity hit a four year low in February 2016Growing insistence that Germany close borders to refugees: 60% feel that country cannot cope with refugee situationInability to monitor refugees1.1 million refugees recorded as coming to Germany in 2015 but less than .5 million asylum applications filedUptick in fraudulent Syrian identification cards: who exactly is entering country?Where to put refugees?Makeshift tent cities erectedRefugees relocated from city center to countryside

Political impact

Statista, 2016

Political ImpactBBC News, 2015

Political ImpactFailure of European UnionMember states take individual actionHungary closes borders to refugees Sweden, Slovakia and Poland open borders to refugeesBrexitHistoric vote on June 23, 2016 resulting in 52% to 48% decision for the United Kingdom to leave the EURipple effect throughout Europe stocks plummet, other nations question if they should leaveLack of legal foundation to harmonize asylum-refugee statusDublin ProtocolSchengen Agreement

Political Impact

Tasch & Nudelman, 2015

Political Impact Rise of rightwing party Alternative for Deutschland (AfD)Founded by Bernd LuckeHard anti-euro stanceDisavow neo-Nazi stereotype2015 leadership transferred to Frauke PetryFocus on migration, Islam and relations with RussiaTargeted young population unable to find jobs and educated middle class2016 gaining popularity due to discontentProduct of elitist nature of German politicsEnables Germans to voice frustrations with political class

Political Impact

Statista, 2016

Social ImpactRefugee or Migrant?Refugee: person fleeing war or persecutionMigrant: person crossing border to seek new work or better lifeFraud: migrants taking advantage of open door policy and claiming to be refugees

Europe will provide protection for those who need it. But those who have no right to be here have to be returnedEuropean Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, as cited in Rollins, 2016

Social ImpactEffects of ethnic and gender imbalanceMuslim populationReached nearly 6 million at end of 20152 out of 3 Germans feel like foreigner in own countryGender66.2% of refugees are maleRegions where men outnumber women susceptible to higher levels of violenceCrime New Years Eve attacks in Cologne = 650 assaultsLess than 1% of Syrian refugees who arrived in Germany in the last 12 months were arrested

Social ImpactCultural Challenges and Fear of TerrorismNeo-Nazi movementVigilante groups bringing acts of violence to refugeesSyrian refugees all viewed as a threat24-hour security guards and video surveillance at refugee sheltersSuspicions of terrorismFear of importing Islamic extremismSalafists: publish videos on social media on how to recruit and exploit refugeesRush by German citizens to purchase weapons for self-defense

Economic ImpactLabor ForceAging population: By 2020 39% of Germans will be over the age of 60Low fertility rateRatio of 8.18 for every 1,000 peopleGerman labor force has declined: 1 million job vacancies10% of refugees expected to find job within 1 year55% of expected to find a job within 5 yearsImpact on native GermansMove natives to jobs with less manual work and higher wagesJobs in domestic sector = more opportunities for women

Economic Impact Eurostat, 2016b

Economic ImpactEducationUneducated but willing to learn?66% are illiterate82% under the age of 35, 50% under the age of 25Vocational programs available to provide refugees with necessary skillsFederal Employment Agency Early Intervention project60 German universities offering free tuitionGovernment hurdlesRisk of deportation = limited investment in trainingDelay in processing of asylum applications

Economic ImpactBBC News, 2016

Economic ImpactCostGermanyFinance Ministry estimates the government will spend 93.6 billion euros by the end of 2020 IMF estimates refugees will account for .35% of Germanys annual GDPEuropean UnionIMF estimates refugees will add .19% to public expenditureRefugees predicted to boost annual output by 1%

Economic ImpactGracio, 2015

OpportunitiesResolve growing labor shortageCreate jobs to meet the demands brought by the asylum seekersErase reputation as cold and uncaring

OpportunitiesDW Berlin, 2015

Germanys role in the crisis is a redemption story. It is, after all, Europes dark 20th century history that deepens the anguish in the images emerging from the current migration. But this time the journey is one of hopeVick, Bajekal, Shuster, Walt, & Witty, 2015

ChallengesUnification of political parties in GermanyUnification of the European UnionOvercome religious/gender stereotypes

ConclusionDifficult to justify welcoming refugees due to recent terror attacksMerkel needs to adjust policies and be realistic in what Germany can handleRefugee crisis is not going away, unified approach needed

This is the biggest crisis that the European Union has faced and could very well undo the achievements of the pastLeonard, 2016

ReferencesAlderman, L. (2015). Germany works to get migrant jobs. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Al Jazeera. (2016). Anti-refugee party surges in German regional elections. Retrieved from Angerer, C. (2015). Germany opens borders, expects 7,000 refugees and migrants from Hungary over weekend. The Associated Press. Retrieved from

Bajekal, N. (2015). Meet the German families that opened their home to refugees. Time. Retrieved from BBC News. (2015). Migrant crisis: Whats next for Germanys asylum seekers? Retrieved from BBC News. (2016). Syria conflict: Families leave besieged Aleppo. Retrieved from

Beehner, L. (2015). How proxy wars work. Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved from

referencesBender, J. (2016). Map of Saudi and Iran proxy war. Business Insider. Retrieved from (2016a). Angela Merkel. Retrieved from (2016b). Bashar al-Assad. Retrieved from

Birrell, I. (2011). The little communist who grew up to be the worlds most powerful woman (with the future of capitalism in her hands). The Daily Mail. Retrieved from Boelpaep, B., & Jeavans, C. (2015). Migrant crisis: How one city in Germany is coping. BBC News. Retrieved from Bojesson, J. (2015). 65 percent of Syrian refugees cant read or write, join workforce. Fox News. Retrieved from Buergin, R. (2015). Merkels refugee policy breaks the law, Bavarian minister says. Bloomberg. Retrieved from

referencesBurke, D. (2013). Syria explained: How it became a religious war. CNN. Retrieved from Cabrera, G. (2015). Economic impact of refugees in Germany. Reuters. Retrieved from

Chervyakov, D. (2015). Population ageing and its effects on the German economy. DIW Berlin. Retrieved from Connolly, K. (2016). Tensions rise in Germany over handling of mass sexual assaults in Cologne. The Guardian. Retrieved from

Crawford, A., & Czuczka, T. (2013). Angela Merkels years in East Germany shaped her crisis politics. Bloomberg. Retrieved from Delcker, J., & Karnitschnig, M. (2016). Refugees wont plug German labor gap. Politico. Retrieved from


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