EU / Transit

The Case for Europe: An Interview with Donald Tusk

The fact is that around Europe, and within it too, there’s no lack of enemies of liberal democracy, and it certainly requires constant mobilization and readiness to defend it. But I am much calmer about it. If we take the area surrounding our continent into consideration, liberal democracy is still doing pretty well in Europe.
Read more

When Corruption Kills: A Romanian Tragedy

On November 3, around 30,000 demonstrators gathered in the center of Bucharest. They demanded the resignation of the prime minister, Victor Ponta, who had been accused of corruption-related crimes months before. There were cries of “Assassins” and “Shame on you”, and some people had banners reading “Corruption kills”. Ponta announced his resignation the next morning.
Read more

In Defence of Free Movement

Asserting a human right to free movement without explaining how it could be accepted by states as a norm of international law risks disconnecting moral critique from political reform. In the present world the admission of refugees and other forced migrants must be governed by principles of human rights, humanitarian duties and burden sharing between states rather than by a right of free movement.
Read more

“Let’s Go England!”: Multiple Facets of the Jungle of Calais

The jungle is presented in the media as an informal settlement where hardly any service is available, where 4500 people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Eritrea converge in the hope of crossing the Channel and setting foot on the British soil. Is it really a place of exception, where the rule of law is suspended and the only function of the state is containment?
Read more

Student Protest as the Trigger for the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine

By now it has been nearly forgotten how the events started that led to Yanukovych relinquishing power. Nevertheless, it was exactly on the grassroots level that some of the most interesting developments took place such as the appearance of a student protests movement which became crucial for the Euromaidan movement and whose fate paradoxically directly triggered the Revolution.
Read more

Parsing Populism: Who Is and Who Is Not a Populist These Days

Donald Trump is but Bernie Sanders isn’t; Syriza is, sometimes. Contemporary populism is not just anti-elitist, but also necessarily anti-pluralist, and in this exclusive claim to representation lies its profoundly undemocratic character.
Read more

Where Do We Want the EU’s Borders to Lie?

The centres and camps that already exist at Europe’s borders (and those being proposed) are not simply de-territorialized, exceptional, ‘waiting spaces’ where European rights do not (yet) apply. They are rather sites that are crucial to the sorting and organization of the right to European rights, through a principle of differentiated inclusion. Access to the right to asylum is thus no longer regulated through physical presence on national territory, but determined in geographically-dispersed locations.
Read more

Hungary’s Anti-European Immigration Laws

Viktor Orbán, who has styled himself as the defender of Europe’s “Christian civilization” against an Islamic invasion, has encouraged other eastern European governments to follow his example in violating EU norms. If Hungarians ultimately opt for an illiberal democracy, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán publicly advocated over a year ago, they must accept certain consequences. These include parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies.
Read more

Central Europe and the Refugees

West European elites carry the burden of a bad conscience with respect to people from the South. There is nothing of the sort in the East where people are unanimous in recalling their own suffering and their historical innocence, and in affirming that “we are not responsible for the miseries of the world.”
Read more

Syrian Origins of the Refugee Crisis: The Cost of No Policy?

Europe’s proximity to Syria means it now has to deal with the refugees. This could have been anticipated in 2013, yet European countries choose to ignore it time and time again. More gravely, by taking a marginal role in the crisis, Europe has let Turkey, the Gulf states, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia determine Syria’s future. It has allowed the most liberal and moderate-minded rebels to be excluded from Syrian politics.
Read more