Initial Western support for Ukraine in the face of murderous Russian aggression was strong and unified. With Putin’s ambitions to capture Kyiv in shambles, Ukraine’s survival has been assured, but the war drags on. The Ukrainian government has set its sights on absolute victory, including retaking the territories Russia occupies since 2014, reparation payments, extradition… Read more »
Migrants Are Dying in the Forests on the EU’s Eastern Borders
The humanitarian crisis on the Poland-Belarus border has claimed several lives. On 30 September, the Polish parliament extended the state of emergency in a three-kilometre-deep strip of land along the border. It is hard to assess the situation in detail, as neither the media nor humanitarian organizations have access to this area, but we know… Read more »
The Plight of Syrian Refugees
The plight of Syrian refugees is worsening day by day. They face increasing pressure in all of the primary host countries. The route to a safe haven in Europe is closed. Returning to a Syria in ruins, where the conflict remains unresolved, is seen by most refugees as far too dangerous.
Why Did Muslims Become the New Enemy in Norway and Europe?
Anti-Muslim views have become more widespread in Europe over the past 30 years, but it is important to distinguish between criticisms of certain forms of Islamic practice and the belief that Muslims are taking over Europe. People with anti-Islamic views wish to restrict Muslim immigration and Islamic religious practices. In their view, Islam is a… Read more »
Hungary (Re)Elects in April
Looking at the most recent polls, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán can be calm about the upcoming elections on the 8th of April. The only real question is whether his Fidesz party will win with a simple or a constitutional majority. But what is the secret of this football enthusiast? A seasoned politician with a… Read more »
Europe’s Quiet Offensive Against People Helping Refugees
A look back on three years since the end of Operation Mare Nostrum. Three years ago today, pressure by the European Union on Italy forced the end of one of the EU’s most successful humanitarian missions, Mare Nostrum, a search-and-rescue operation that in just one year brought 130,000 refugees safely to Europe’s shores. As the… Read more »
The Right to Decide: Exit and Basque Self-Determination
Five years ago, the Basque militant group ETA (Basque Homeland and Freedom) announced a unilateral and permanent cessation of operations. Since then, the disappearance of political violence has given rise to a new debate on Basque nationhood: more inclusive, more open, more civic, and at the same time stronger in its affirmation of the legitimacy… Read more »
The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees
The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey to Greece, because the route… Read more »
What Would Have Been New about Bombing Migrant Boats?
The European Union has made it clear that bombs were not part of the plan for war against people smuggling after all. “No one is thinking of bombing,” said Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, yesterday. The alleged plans for bombing had already caused widespread alarm and protest. But what would have been new about bombing… Read more »
Why Assisted Return Programmes Must Be Evaluated
Rejected asylum seekers often resist the legal obligation to return. Consequently, European policy makers tasked with migration managament have turned to so-called ‘Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programmes’ (AVRRs) to incentivize return to and support reintegration in the country of origin. Such programmes are described as less politically costly, more humane, simpler and cheaper than… Read more »