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EU elections: What the nationalist trend means for migration policy

A shoe in barbed wire at the Turkey Greece border Nikolaos Symeonidis/TNH
The fence on the land border between Turkey and Greece.

The EU elections brought large electoral gains Monday for a string of far-right and nationalist parties proposing tougher measures to curb migration, with Britain’s Brexit Party, Italy’s Lega Nord, Hungary’s Fidesz, and France’s National Rally all topping their respective polls.

But attitudes have been hardening ever since more than one million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, and the rise of right-wing nationalist parties has already brought a raft of anti-immigration policies that have had far-reaching effects.

Here’s a collection of our recent coverage highlighting this trend, what those affected say, and how some groups are trying to help them:

Hungary condemned for using ‘starvation tactics’ to deter asylum seekers

UN alarmed over ‘alien policing procedures’ that systematically deny food to asylum seekers in holding areas on the Serbian border.

Sicilian volunteers help African LGBTI migrants hit by new Italian Law

LGBTI people fleeing persecution in their homelands have lost humanitarian protect status and associated integration services in Italy.

Refugee, volunteer, prisoner: Sarah Mardini and Europe's hardening line on migration

Activists say anti-smuggling laws are being wielded against people who are trying to save lives.

Briefing: What’s behind talk of a ‘migratory crisis’ in Spain

NGOs and rescuers worry that politicians may be following the Italian model, as pre-election rhetoric becomes more hardline on immigration.

A “manufactured” Brexit migrant crisis masks new risks ahead

Over-reaction to a small rush of Iranian arrivals aside, Britain is in a mess over immigration and no one knows where things are heading.

The back of a man's head on a tarmac

New Italian law adds to unofficial clampdown on aid to asylum seekers

Thousands of new arrivals were already being cut from services, an IRIN investigation found, and the new measures will add some of the most vulnerable.

Bleak Bosnian winter for migrants camped out on new route to Europe

Winter housing is badly needed to stave off a humanitarian disaster on the Croatian border.

A sign on the side of the road that says forbidden zone

An open secret: Refugee pushbacks across the Turkey-Greece border

Rights groups say the shadowy practice violates international law and that the fate of those who are thwarted is largely unknown.

Welcome to refugee purgatory on the Hungary border

Migrants who attempt to sneak across Hungary's heavily guarded border risk brutal beatings by Hungarian police.

For wider coverage, check out this curation of our 2018 migration reporting, and our Destination Europe series, which looks at the challenges and choices facing migrants and refugees as a result of European policies and deals with African nations.

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