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Panel 907: The Refugee Crisis Governance and its Implications - Not Letting a Good Crisis go to Waste?
11:30am - 1:00pm
Session Chair: Rachael Dickson, University of Strathclyde
The Externalisation and Securitisation of the Mediterranean Refugee Crisis: the Implications of the Internal-External Nexus for the Common Security and Defence Policy
University of Melbourne, Australia
The Mediterranean refugee crisis has placed significant strain on the European Union’s coordinated response to the crisis. It has undermined the solidarity of EU member states to work together to find common solutions to the crisis. It has seen an increased emphasis on securitising, externalising and off-shoring both the response and responsibility for this humanitarian crisis and the EU use of external policy instruments such as the Common Security and Defence Policy to address the internal security implications. In addressing the refugees crisis, CSDP mission mandates have expanded, covering broader issues of people movement and management, and increasing capacity building activities in third countries to strengthen capabilities of security sector actors in managing people movement. While the internal-external security nexus provides opportunities to expand the role of the CSDP, it also has the potential to fundamentally change the core focus of the CSDP. The CSDP marks an important tool for the EU’s role as a crisis management actor, yet its recent use in Africa marks a worrying trend. The two CSDP missions in Libya for example, have brought to the fore significant problems with the design and application of the CSDP to deal with EU internal considerations within third countries where significant, political, economic, security and rule of law challenges exist. This paper argued that by privileging the need to stop the flow of people entering the EU, the EU is undermining the CSDP, its role within the region and the EU’s future partnerships and leverage with state within its neighbourhood.
Using a Refugee Crisis? Syrian Refugee Crisis Greece’s Eurozone Bailout Negotiations
Gerasimos Tsourapas, Sotirios Zartaloudis
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
How has the Syrian refugee crisis affected the policies of European Union [EU] member-states? Most of the literature on the Syrian refugee crisis highlights either its humanitarian aspect or critiques the EU’s inadequate response mechanisms. Less attention has been paid to EU member-states, with Greece usually portrayed as a compliant enforcer of European Commission directives. This paper aims to challenge this perception by examining how Greece sought to politically-exploit the Syrian refugee crisis between the beginning of the skyrocketing of refugee arrivals in early 2015 and the closure of the 'Balkan corridor' in March 2016. Drawing on a variety of primary and secondary sources in English and Greek it puts forth two arguments. Firstly, Athens aimed to capitalise on the refugee crisis by pursuing an issue-linkage strategy that, drawing on Greece’s status as a major host-state of Syrian refugees, aimed at strengthening its bailout negotiations with the EU. Secondly, the Greek government engaged in unilateral action on Syrian refugees that deviated from established EU policy with little regard to other EU members, the established EU policy, and the well-being of arriving refugees. The paper demonstrates how an EU member-state sought to politically-profit from the Syrian refugee crisis via a two-level game between its domestic audience, which expected a renegotiation of the bailout package, and EU creditor-nations, which sought to contain the influx of Syrians.
Turkish Perspective on the EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement
Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland
In this proposed paper Turkey's attitude towards the European Union's migration policy has been analyzed. From 2011 onwards, Turkey became a transit state for hundreds of thousands of refugees who were migrating from the Middle East to Europe, which soon led to the outbreak of a serious crisis in the EU. In order to stop the uncontrolled migration flows, in March 2016 a special agreement between the European Union and Turkey was signed, under which Ankara agreed to accept refugees with irregular status from the EU. In return, Brussels has promised Turkey financial support, visa-free policy and the acceleration of the accession process.
The key objective of this proposed paper is an attempt to answer the research question regarding the role of refugee agreement in contemporary Turkish policies. Considering the deterioration of the EU-Turkey relationship in the last few years, it is vital to begin with presentation of reasons for Turkish engagement in this initiative. There are three groups of these reasons: political, economic and social. Special attention will be paid to the distinction between Turkish government’s activities in internal and international spheres. Then, this research will conclude with a set of possible scenarios for the further development of the Turkey-EU relationship with a particular regard to the migration problem in the region.
In order to identify the most significant decisions related to Turkey's policy towards the EU in the context of the migration agreement, a wide range of original Turkish sources (academic publications, government documents and public reports) have been studied. Detailed analysis of interviews and official speeches of prominent Turkish politicians is also a crucial part of the paper. The source analysis focuses on determining the impact of the migration crisis on Turkish political discourse in reference to Turkey’s relations with the EU. In accordance with conclusions drawn from these research activities, the main research hypothesis will be formulated.