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End of Year Reflection: From Refugee Camp to Incubator Village

Dec 19, 2018 | Opinions

(19 December 2018) – Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk, the founder of Refival, shares his opinion on the refugee crisis and the integration of migrants in rural areas.

Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk.
© Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk

Having decreased in number again this year, 135,000 irregular migrants came to Europe in 2018. At first sight a decline may seem positive but, looking deeper, this is not the case. For example, in Turkey alone, where 3.3 million Syrian war-refugees were already staying, their number increased by more than 200,000.

This means that Europe has successfully defended its “fortress” but has insufficiently shared responsibility.

After three years of developing fear, it is high time for Europe to rebuild trust and take its responsibility. Only this way can it reverse fragmentation and become united.

There is a great opportunity for Europe’s rural “grassroots” communities in exploring refugee incubation and creating a more sustainable future for themselves.

Read the opinion