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Migration crisis, social media and democracy in the Western Balkans

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Alexandrina Iremciuc

Release Date:

June 2016

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According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2015 more than 1’000’000 migrants are estimated to have been travelling to Europe through various transit routes across Africa, Asia or the Middle East. Facing an unprecedented volume of arrivals, European asylum authorities are under pressure and deep internal divisions between Member States have been reignited, bringing in transit countries such as Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia to progressively close their borders to migrants. In parallel, a new type of migration is emerging: modern migration that relies on new technology, notably on social media. Hence, the question we address in this paper is the following: in the context of the migration crisis through the Western Balkans Route, what is the role of social media? A sub-­‐question concerns the contribution of social media to the migration flows towards Europe.