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Indeed, more sought asylum from the former Yugoslavia in Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and the UK than from Syria so far.Looking at asylum seekers in general, more did come to most northern European countries during the 2010s than the early 1990s.The fear of Islamic terrorists posing as refugees also differs substantially nowadays.Although many Muslims from Bosnia and outside Europe applied for asylum in the early 1990s, their religious background was not such an issue.It remains difficult for the EU to strike a deal with Libya – the country's civil war is ongoing and it has never signed the UN Refugee Convention.Migrants also tend to be treated appallingly in Libyan detention centres.Images of distressed boat migrants played out in the media before millions of viewers.It became a border spectacle, which encouraged perceptions of migrants' illegality in the process.
The northern European media have nevertheless given much more prominence to the latest crisis.
During both crises, many European states have adopted a beggar-thy-neighbour attitude to asylum.
States, including Germany, that encouraged joint European responses have borne most of the burden.
Yet the difference is not enormous: approximately 2.5m in 1991-96 versus 3.2m in 2011-16.
While Germany, Sweden, France and Austria have recorded more applications in the more recent period, the opposite is true for the Netherlands and the UK.
As a result, the EU's influence on the immigration and asylum affairs of member states has since developed significantly.