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"'You are welcome in Portugal': conviction and convenience in framing today’s Portuguese politics on European burden sharing of refugees"

Paulo Manuel Costa, Lúcio Sousa

Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, 6 (2), 2017

Historically-speaking, Portugal is a country that has received a very small number of applications from asylum seekers and resettled refugees. However, within the context of the current influx of refugees into Europe and the creation of a relocation system within the European Union, Portugal is ready to take 10,000 relocated refugees. As such, it is legitimate to ask whether we are witnessing a change in the country’s policy regarding asylum and refugees. Although this is an ongoing process, the conviction prompting this humanitarian position regarding the taking of relocated refugees also includes a convenient political strategy that serves the national interest in two ways: by promoting the image of a supportive country in the current European refugee crisis, despite its internal socio-economic crisis, as well as a way of obtaining human resources to boost economic activity and combat the country’s demographic deficit.

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