How to Hatch the Wings of a Mockingbird: A Comment on the EU’s New Migration and Asylum Pact and the Risk of Destroying Civil Society Engagement in Refugee Relief Work Internally to the EU Memberstates
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It is now more than 5 years since Europe experienced a so-called “refugee crisis” challenging the European Union's asylum system to such an extent that the system is still transforming. This commentary identifies a dangerous trend in these transformations. It does so with reference to the manifestation in Europe in 2015 of grassroot engagement and cross-border initiatives to welcome and support refugee arrivals, known as “welcome cultures”. Bearing this willingness to support refugees in mind, the EU Migration and Asylum Pact appear to communicate an even more exclusive notion of Europe than hitherto seen. Even though “solidarity” is a core notion in The Pact, it is a very different understanding of solidarity than the ones expressed in the welcome cultures: In The Pact “solidarity” refers to the collective responsibility of EU member states to follow refugees back to where they came from. This consensus, neglecting how civil society was an invaluable resource during the summer and autumn of 2015, endanger the activities and maybe even the very existence in Europe of civil society engagement in refugee relief work. We write this commentary because we think these developments should be recognized as a dilemma located at the heart of European democracy.
|Journal||Journal of Borderlands Studies|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|