In 2016, as the refugee crisis intensified, elections in countries across Europe resulted in a rise of rightwing and far-right parties, drastically changing EU politics.
Fundings for refugees, both in Europe and abroad, was cut significantly, and in its stead, billions were used to cut Europe off from the rest of the world. Fences were built, border controls were intensified, and refugee quotas that would have been ridicoulously low at the best of times were instated. And all the while, refugees from the warn-torn middle-east kept coming.
The tensions between politics and the real world resulted in numerous humanitarian catastrophes, as countries used their military, and live ammunition, to make sure nobody crossed their borders. The cost of these operations kept on increasing, while an aging Europe, bereft of the influx of migrants which had kept it over water until now, experienced little to no economic growth. By 2019, Europe was practically bankrupt.
Slowly, politics where starting to change again, reducing repression and increasing refugee quotas, but it was too late. Other countries, having seen the disastrous results of EU politics, had decided to welcome the refugees in its stead, and, encouraged by the economic growth produced by their demographic increase, kept doing so. By the time Europe opened its doors again, nobody wanted to go there anymore.
The european economy, because of an aging population and the PR-disaster its politics of the past three years had caused, has since been in recession, and shows little signs of picking up again. Europeans have started to leave the continent in search for a better life, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, very few countries are willing to accept these "economic migrants".