German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grandstanding might have secured her accolades from the German left or bolstered her chances for the Nobel Peace Prize, but her moves have also mobilized millions of migrants from Middle East and North Africa towards Europe that now not only threaten European Union’s integrity, but could also destabilize the Balkan countries by reigniting old border conflicts.

According to Hungary’s foreign minister Peter Szijjártó, 35 million migrants are now on their way to Europe. In his opinion, it is not a migrant crisis but “a massive migration of nations.” The minister defended his country’s decision to start the work on a second fence to deter migrants from entering its borders through the Balkans.

Historically, the Balkans in south-eastern Europe has been the most volatile area in Europe; stretching back to the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 that eventually led to the WWI, and recently erupting into Yugoslavia Wars lasting over 10 year from 1991-2001.

The unfolding migrant crisis is putting this unstable region under strains never seen before. The latest dispatch from the Balkans in the German Daily DIE WELT reads more like a family squabble waiting to erupt [author’s translation]:

Hungary and Serbia are up in arms with each other, Serbia and Croatia are squabbling too. Slovenia is taking Croatia severely to task. And the fact that both Macedonia and Serbia are letting through more and more refugees is not pleasing anyone in the North. The fight between the Balkan countries over the refugee is putting further pressure on already strained relations. Nobody know the solution to where [the refugee] should go. But they all agree on one thing: [Refugees] should not stay with them.

The article quoted EU Commissioner for “Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations” Johannes Hahn saying,“[Balkan countries] should not be turned into parking lots or no man’s land for refugees” — warning that it would be a “big geostrategic blunder.”

But that’s precisely what Germany has done. Germany’s unilateral suspension of Dublin Protocol mobilized migrants across Middle East and North Africa. Berlin’s subsequent backtracking and introduction of border controls have now created a dangerous bottleneck in the most ethnically unstable region in Europe.

Forget about the social unrest by disgruntled migrants in some distant (or near) future; Europe, already bursting at the seams, might turn on itself in border conflicts after telling the world — “were so 20th century.”

(Cover image courtesy Voice of America, YouTube)