With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the European Union is once again experiencing an influx of migrants. The 2015 Middle East and North Africa refugee crisis set records, with more than 1.3 million people seeking refuge in the EU. The ongoing Russian invasion, however, has already seen nearly 5.3 million Ukrainian refugees entering the EU. While there is a distinction between the legal status of Ukrainian migrants and previous waves, migration flows to the EU have been increasing for years and remain an important policy issue.
Entering through different border crossings and dispersing easily across the continent, a key component of which must be addressed is cataloguing migrants. Blockchain technology, with its decentralisation and level of encryption, can provide a comprehensive resolution to this issue, and must be kept in mind by EU policymakers when forming regulations.
Asylum proceedings are one of the biggest issues with the EU's migration policy, and digital identification through blockchain to register and track refugees would be an instrumental step towards the level of necessary reform.
Overregulation of this new and growing technology poses a risk, not only to the investment potential of the EU as a whole but also to the migration flows across its borders. The 2015 migration crisis was the first in a surge of asylum seekers, and the influx of Ukrainian refugees have continued to highlight the gaps in the system. Without smart regulation of blockchain, the European Union will lose the value of the technology before it has a chance to fully realise its potential.